From an article in the 27 March 1986 San Francisco Chronicle: ------------------------------ An employee of the San Jose public library "destroyed 16 days of records and garbled two weeks of circulation files." A supervisor had "neglected to create a backup file". 267,000 books are involved. They expect 95.5 percent will be returned on time. That leaves 12000. 4000 are routinely returned late. The other 8000 are considered lost at a replacement cost of $10 each, or $80,000. About $18,000 in overdue fines will be lost. The system was two months old. Training was still incomplete. Several employees will be disciplined. The blunder might cost three new positions for next year, expected to be refilled after cut out by Proposition 13 budget cuts. ------------------------------ I have one remark on the above. Not only does poor computer usage cause risks to everybody else, I think we should be concerned about workers who are forced to use unfamiliar systems and then are held responsible for the damage they did. Somehow it does not seem fair, but I believe this is becoming far too common.
... at the main library and 17 branches. ... That's $2,000,000 worth of books unaccounted for. The library usually gets 95% back without sending out reminders, but with the publicity -- who knows? They really can't afford to replace even $100,000 worth, even if they knew what to replace.
I worked in a hotel once when they were adding a new wing. The main water and electricity systems had to be turned off to connect the new wing. Management decided to do both at the same time so there would only be one interruption in service. The problem: Turning off the electric power caused the emergency generator to come on, but the generator was cooled by water which came from the main and ran into the drain, i.e., no recirculation. Of course there was no water, the generator engine managed to warp its head pretty badly before we shut it off.
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