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IT Horror Stories: Favorites of Week One

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We’ve received plenty of wonderful submissions in the first week of our IT Horror Story contest. All of them qualified for Favorites of the Week One, our prize for the best stories of each week.

The stories were amazingly diverse, representing many different careers and countries. It wasn’t an easy choice, but two stories stood out for us.

These submissions have won our first weekly Prestigious Poet’s Pen and Paper Pack.

All submissions are still eligible for Best Overall Story and Second Best Overall Story. They are due Thursday, July 28, 2016.

To qualify for the Favorites of Week Two, submit your story by Friday, July 22, 2016.

Brain Donor

At my last job I worked the helpdesk for a large non profit. They hired on a Database Administrator to assist with running the donor database. Her first day she submits a trouble ticket, she has dual monitors at her desk and would like for me to come install Microsoft Office onto her second monitor. I went to her desk and dragged the icons for Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint over to the other screen. She didn’t last very long…

Dead Man Coding

“Howdy.”

I glanced up from my screen, then sighed as I returned to work. “Hello, Reaper.”

The grim specter of death sat cross-legged on the desk a few feet away from me, his head tilted, his skinless jaw resting in the bones of his palm, his sightless gaze locked onto my monitor.

“Watcha doing?” he asked.

“Patching and rebooting some development servers,” I said through my teeth. “I’m kind of busy. Can we talk later?”

The robed skeleton scooched closer to me, and I shied away from the scent of his torn and ratty cloak.

“Show me,” he said.

“What? No.”

“Show me!”

“Death, I’m super busy right now, can you…”

“SHOW ME!” The sound of his yell was the screech of a thousand failing backup batteries, and his breath on my cheek was colder than an optimally air-conditioned datacenter.

“Fine! Jeez!” I turned my monitor towards him. “Look, here’s the tool, and here are the servers I’m working on. So I just finished up with WEB_APP_PROD_6, and now…” My voice trailed off. At first, I was confused. There was something just WRONG with the list of machines I had been working on. And as my mind started piecing things together, I felt the first rivulets of icy fear trickling down my spine.

“Oh no,” I whispered. My shaking fingers fought to confirm what I already knew was true in my heart. “Oh no, oh no…these aren’t DEVELOPMENT servers, they’re-”

“Production,” Death tutted. “And in the middle of business hours, too.” He got down from the table, picked up his scythe, and smoothed out his robe.

“I’ll be waiting for you in your manager’s office,” he said with an obscene curl of his fingers. “Ta!” That’s when he disappeared, leaving me to cower beneath the horror of my digital sins…

 

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