It’s a few years before the creation of eBay, and the IT shop where this pilot fish works is upgrading one of its oldest machines with external tape drives.
“In order to do this, we had to obtain a certain type of SCSI card that had been stopped being made many years ago,” says fish. “Our supplier managed to get the cards for $35,000 in the back of a warehouse in Sweden, and they were the last of their type available.”
When the packages arrive, one of fish’s colleagues takes delivery of them. His desk is a mess, so he puts them on the floor right next to it.
Next morning, they’re gone.
A quick search doesn’t turn them up. But someone mentions seeing a janitor heading to the trash bin with two boxes. And the bin is scheduled to be emptied that day.
The good news: The bin hasn’t been emptied yet.
The bad news: The bin contains the garbage from a restaurant in the same building, so it’s a little smelly.
“Nobody wanted to explain to the boss what had happened and ask for another $35,000,” fish says. “My colleague was given a hard hat, some gloves and a flashlight, and lifted into the bin while I stood guard to ensure the garbage truck did not appear to empty the bin.
“After 45 minutes, he managed to retrieve the cards.
“For the rest of the day nobody sat near him. And he never left things on the floor next to his desk again.”
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