We all have horror stories at work. What happens the day that everything goes wrong? The copier is busted because someone sat on it while trying to take photocopies of their posterior, half of your computers have been infected by ransom-ware, one of your help desk employees decided that today would be a great day to stay home because of the food poisoning they got from Chipotle the previous night, and your other help desk person is munching on stinky Corn Nuts so loudly that you can just hear the user on the other end cringe.

Do you give up and call it quits? Go insane and start throwing computers at passers-by? Or do you grin and bear it, then take comfort in that “break-in-case-of-emergency” bottle of Jim Beam?

One particular day I remember calling a customer to do a monthly check in call. I was new to sales at the time, but was generally wise enough to understand when someone was putting me on. Upon calling I asked the gentleman on the other line, whom I had a number of conversations with in the past, how things were going. He seemed a little off that day, so I asked what the matter was. His response was “oh, I’ve been putting out fires today.”

For a sales person that is a pretty typical response when you are talking to a number of hard working IT professionals in any given day (I mean, that’s basically the job description, right?) After inquiring on what they had been working on, he continued, “I’ve been putting out fires, actual fires. One of our printers started on fire and I had to put it out with an extinguisher. Then the fire department came and we had to leave the building, go outside in sub-zero weather, and wait for an all clear. It was a disaster.”

I was shocked. I was new to sales and generally when someone told me they were busy or having a bad day, I knew that a lot of the time they just wanted to get off of the phone – who wants to talk to a sales person anyhow? I don’t! But for someone to give me the time of day and explain their awful day and not want to get off the phone afterwards was both amazing and depressing at the same time. Oh yeah, and he sent me a picture as proof (which, of course, I lost when my phone died).

So, I want to ask you, our faithful readers. What is your worst day at work in the IT field? Can you top the example I gave you? I’d like to hear you!