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This is a question Shops and Supermarkets

I used to work in a supermarket where the girl on the deli counter cut off the top of her finger in the meat slicer, but was made to finish her shift before going to hospital. You can now pay 100 to shoot zombies in the store's empty shell, haunted by poor dead nine-finger deli girl. Tell us your tales of the old retail experience, from either side of the counter

(, Thu 10 May 2012, 13:50)
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Just another day at the helpdesk...
I used to work for a crowd of Idiotic Bumbling Morons who make cash register systems for large supermarkets. Mostly I just rang up engineers to help with technical queries and ordered parts but quite often I spoke to the managers in stores if something on the job ticket didn't quite "look right". Now, you get to know who is actually capable of telling their arse from their elbow in each store and often it was worth just ringing the clueful ones up anyway.

One fine morning I found five tickets in my inbox, all for the same store, all for blown power supplies. The tills were basically 486 or Pentium PCs (in 2005!) with funny connectors, and the power supplies were pretty much standard ITX PSUs and rarely failed. Reading the notes on the first ticket gave me the name of the manager - hmm, it's C, one of the good ones, a bit of a geek in fact, so if she says the power supplies are blown it's a safe bet that she's had the facilities guy check the fusebox and all that. Right, phone call.

"Hi there C, it says that you've got five tills, all with blown PSUs, is that correct?"
"Yes, they're faulty, we checked the fuses, checked the sockets and all that, it's definitely the power supplies"
"Okay, so what took out all five?"
"Well we had a power cut and when we got the power back on - uh - properly, five tills were dead"
"Yeah, okay, how about you tell me what *really* happened...?"
"Promise you won't laugh? Okay, well one of the delivery lorries reversed over the substation transformer and took out half the shopping centre. When we got power back up on the standby generator, two of the tills didn't power up"
"Riiiight", I said, suppressing laughter (hey, I *did* promise), "What about the other three?"
"Ah yeah well, then the generator ran out of diesel..."
I broke my promise about laughing, but got an engineer out with five new power supplies and a bunch of other stuff "just in case".

I now add "and then the generator runs out of diesel" to the Disaster Recovery Drill scenario list.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 17:45, closed)

Why would a PSU blow if it suddenly had no power? I can understand the computer not being happy with it and potential booting problems, but me no understand engwish.
(, Thu 17 May 2012, 12:30, closed)

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