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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Beyond Repair 

Normally when I'm inspired to blog about something I read in InfoWorld, the blog entry ends up in the Ontario Technoblog. However, this article is more appropriate here.

An anonymous service technician was making a service call to a customer site to swap out a faulty server power supply. After being greeted by ten people (six IT staffers and four "suits") when he arrived at the site, the tech thought of a sure-fire way to keep them all occupied so he could get his work done:

Being Jewish, during the holiday season I carried a bag full of wooden dreidels, the little four-sided tops that Jewish kids play with on Hanukkah. I would pass them out to my customers to give them a little taste of my culture, along with a slip of paper listing the rules of the game. Most of my customers thought this was great and passed the dreidels on to their kids. On this occasion, it occurred to me that the dreidels might be the perfect way to distract my “helpers.”

Everything was going fine, and everyone was occupied, until one of the suits made a comment:

I was sitting on the floor, preparing to connect cables to the new power supply, when the suit nearest me leaned over the cabinet and said loudly, “You do know that on Sept. 11, all of the Jews in the Twin Towers were warned by phone calls to leave the building immediately and that most of them were a couple blocks away, laughing, when the planes hit?”

I was speechless. Then the guy dropped his dreidel on the floor and stalked away. I heard another dreidel falling to a stop. Then another. All the dreidels quickly disappeared into pockets and purses....

In a very quiet room, the tech finished the repair, and got very different reactions from the suits and the IT staffers.

The suits slipped away without a word. But one by one, as the IT guys walked out, each one told me how sorry he was for what that guy had said.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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