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True IT blooper #58: The zealous rookie

A lightly qualified data processing manager tackles his new job with gusto and shuts down a government Web site, leaving his boss to take the blame.

Who says you know what always runs downhill?

A lead database administrator received a nasty note after one of his IT department employees made a goof after hours.

Michael A. Angelo was the lead database administrator for the largest department of his state government, and he had just hired a new data processing manager. A colleague had recommended the fellow. The buddy system usually is a reputable way to find good people.

Perhaps not in this case. After all, the only IT experience the new hire claimed was a data entry position.

The newbie administrator goofed while on duty late one Friday night during his first week. Everyone had gone home for the weekend, and he figured it was a perfect time to make sure the government wasn't wasting electricity.

The rookie systematically scoured the offices and server rooms for equipment he felt was running needlessly.

"He swept through our offices turning off what he considered power-wasting devices," Angelo recalled.

Later that night, Angelo's home phone rang.

"I got a call from him at 11 p.m. that night," Angelo said. "He had just checked our Web page, and nothing was there."

Turns out the zealous rookie had shut down the department's mail and Oracle Web servers. It didn't take Angelo long to boot up everything, but he had a feeling he was going to hear about the mishap from a supervisor.

"True to form, Monday morning I got a memo that it was my fault for not putting a 'Don't turn off' sign on the servers," Angelo said.

For once, it ran uphill.

Share your bloopers with us. E-mail them to Read more of our past IT Blooper Series, which originially appeared at, part of the TechTarget network.

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