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Time-Machine Tuesday: A non-smashing success

This IT pilot fish works in a big open-plan office, where the last employee out is supposed to turn off the lights.

One day, the last person is someone who’s never before been the last to leave, and she can’t find the light switch. She does find a big handle marked “power,” so she flips that.

Naturally, all the lights go off, along with everything else. But she heads home having done her duty.


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Do you feel as if you’ve heard this story before? You might have, but we promise you that this ends up differently from most “somebody went and hit the big red button” stories.

Next morning, no one can get in. The electric lock on the front door to the office isn’t working.

Someone phones the manager who’s responsible for the bypass keys. He tells the employees to smash the door in.

That idea doesn’t sit well with fish’s team, and they come up with an approach that involves ropes, ladders, gutters and a few moves out of Mission: Impossible. And they manage to break into the office cleanly and restore power — without causing any damage.

[ Further reading: Review: 3 digital whiteboard displays for business collaboration ]

“It certainly improved teamwork,” says fish.

But why was that manager so quick to say that the best approach would be to smash the door down? When he arrives, it comes out that the only bypass key is in a locked cupboard inside the office.