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Dancing can be dangerous - true tales from an ex-IT support man Episode 8

My apologies for the hiatus – been away and then contracted the dreaded Covid…

So, to ease back into the blog and continue the saga that is my life in commerce:

The site at which I was working when I last reported was, as I already stated a while back, an ex-banking hall, complete with safe in the basement which we used as a tape and disk storage area.  To transport the disks and tapes up and down the stairs would have been a

genuine chore had we not had a mini-elevator for the job.  On the ground floor (that’s the first floor, for all the septic tanks (yanks) reading this – I can dream, can’t I?) the door was about 4 feet tall, with a covered space of about 6 feet above it which housed the winch mechanism but which was otherwise empty.

This was used in the normal fashion in the main but, occasionally, it afforded us some fun.  For example, the lift (that’s the real name for an elevator, Yanks – remember who invented the English language?) was operated manually without being occupied.  For some reason, the door on the ground floor had been modified (OK, broken) so that it was possible to open the door without the lift car actually being in place.  I know – a health and safety nightmare in today’s namby-pamby environment, but we are talking when H&S was a thing of the future and there was still high-jinks to play with before being reprimanded by Personnel (that’s HR in today’s vernacular).

Anyway, at 2am, having already been working since 9pm the previous evening, you’re not at the most alert of conscious states. I decided to play a little prank on my shift leader as he was being particularly annoying that night shift.  We needed to switch some tapes and disks for part of the overnight work so I loaded up the trolley, sent them down to the basement and then went downstairs to recover the trolley and switch out the used tapes/disks for the required ones, then sent went back upstairs to bring the trolley up to the ground floor.

Like I said, my shift leader had been annoying me (I can’t remember why – probably it was his ballroom dancing in front of the tape decks…you know who you are) so I called the lift from the ground floor while the door was open and stopped it just at the point where the top of the car was flush with the ground floor, and then called the shift leader (let’s call him Pete) out of the computer room to inform him that the trolley has disappeared.  He came and took a look, scratched his head and, as I had hoped, stepped into the lift to inspect the void above the door. Unable to resist, I shut the lift door and then pressed the up button, taking Pete up into the void, all the while ignoring his screams of protestation and his threats of what he would do to me when he was released.

These threats were also ignored, safe in the knowledge that I was twice his size (he was only about 5’4” and could have slept in a snooker cue case) and he was unlikely to report the misdemeanour to anyone, and then opened the lift door and removed the trolley to retrieve the new set of data.
 I then move the lift down a few inches so that Pete had some light and so I could see his little feet.  I think I said something about practicing dancing the Rumba (which can danced within the space of a handkerchief) and went into the computer room to work for a while. About an hour later, I went out to the lift and moved it down to release the captive Pete.

Funnily enough, ballroom dancing was less of an issue from that time onwards…