"Seems one manager was effectively managing two teams," the admin continues. "He's got a real smart guy on one team and some problems on the other team, so he moves everyone out of the first team, except the genius, and uses them to bolster the second team. The genius is left to move his team's project forward on his own."
As luck would have it, Einstein resented his new responsibility, and with solo control over a whole bunch of servers, he decided to get stupid.
"He sets up his own porno site using our servers and an unused static external address that we bought to use in a project that had died shortly before," the admin says. "It also seems he didn't do a lot of research on how to run a porno site legally in the United States."
"A month later, three squad cars, two unmarked cars, and a big black van pull up to the front entrance," the admin says. "They confiscate most of the data center and almost everyone's personal machines. Even with some DR in place, we were completely shut down for almost a week. My team almost got fired for not managing our neato new virtualization environment the right way. And Mr. Genius, I believe, had to pay a huge fine. Which I don't know how he afforded since he no longer had a job."
Moral: Self-service virtualization doesn't mean unmonitored virtualization -- unless you want to host illegal porn.
Stupid user trick No. 7: Control freak-out
Some tales offer a lesson for everyone.
"We'd just finished installing this new point-of-sale system in 40 remote retail locations. Everything was running fine, and we were monitoring each POS setup with desktop management and remote connections," one IT pro says. "We were using the remote connections to check certain data repositories on an almost daily basis. It's important data, after all.
"Except one of my techs didn't know the difference between a basic remote connection, which runs in the background from the user perspective, and a remote control connection, which just takes over the PC from the user," the IT pro says.
So, after accessing a store in Ohio, the team gets a call from the local police.
"Seems the store manager had freaked out because her computer was being 'taken over by thieves' who were trying to access her payment and credit card data. She had been crying while trying to get control of her mouse and keyboard back and finally just yanked the power cord out of the wall." Totally desperate, she called 911.
"From the description, we immediately knew what had happened. They put her on the phone with me and I was trying not to laugh while she was crying hysterically. It took some time to clean up, and our tech got a crash course in remote connection management."
Moral: User education is important, but technician education is even more important -- and user error is no excuse to call 911.
Stupid user trick No. 8: The amazing adventures of Stupid SQL Man
Here's to hoping your IT superhero isn't a supervillain in disguise.
"About five years ago, our company had one on-site tech, hired from a local IT consulting company, and a really basic network," one line-of-business manager says. "And our tech was really lazy and really evil."
As it turns out, the tech liked having an easy gig and didn't want to be reassigned to something more taxing. So he did what any lazy, evil tech hoping to appear important would do: He kept the basic network running smoothly and started inventing problems.