The middle of an emergency is no time to make a plan. Take a look at this installment of "Management Chronicles" to learn how not to be prepared for an emergency situation, and then read the Story Lines for some helpful, preparatory advice.
The stage is dark, and a telephone is ringing. Lights come up to reveal a desk, with many phones and a computer monitor on it. Behind the desk sits an exasperated STU. His sleeves are rolled up to different lengths, his shirt is untucked, and his hair sticks out wildly. One arm props his head above the desk; the other holds a phone receiver. The ringing finally stops, and STU jumps to attention.
HELP DESK: Hello, help desk.
STU: This is Stu at the Fudge-O- Matic Corporation. Our plant monitoring system is down!
HELP DESK: Yes, sir. Can you please give me more information on the problem?
STU: Well, the status map is all gray. I think the server has crashed! We were just starting to run the new double chocolate brownie . . .
The FUDGE-O-MATIC INTERCOM system beeps through.
FUDGE-O- MATIC INTERCOM: Stu, it's the plant operations people. They want to know what's happening.
STU: (To the HELP DESK phone) Excuse me, can you hold a minute? I have to take this call.
HELP DESK: Certainly, sir.
STU: (Answering one of the other phones) Yes, I know that your monitor has stopped. I am talking with the vendor help desk right now. I'll get back to you as soon as I can. (Hanging up and returning to HELP DESK) OK, I'm back. The server's crashed.
HELP DESK: I have been unable to connect to your system via modem. Is it on?
STU: Where is it?
HELP DESK: The modem? It's typically on a shelf above the server.
STU: The server is in the other room. I'm going to have to put the phone down.
STU puts the HELP DESK phone down on his desk and starts to get up, but the intercom beep stops him.
FUDGE-O-MATIC INTERCOM: Stu, the project manager wants to know when the system will be back up.
STU: (Answering the other phone) Yes, I know that your monitor has stopped. I'm talking with the vendor right now. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
STU hangs up the phone and walks offstage. Offstage noises represent his frantic search. Finally, he returns and picks up the HELP DESK phone.
STU: I can't find the modem. What does it look like again?
HELP DESK: It's a box with four lights on the front, labeled "modem." But I think that we should skip fixing the modem and look at your server. Can you call me from a phone by the server?
STU: There's no phone line in the server room.
HELP DESK: OK, go check if there are any error messages on the system console, and I'll wait.
STU: What's the system console?
HELP DESK: It's the monitor on the server.
STU puts the phone down again and runs offstage. We can hear his moans and mutterings. He returns, barely catching his breath before picking up the HELP DESK phone again.
STU: There aren't any error messages on the monitor, but I still can't click anything.
The intercom beeps again.
FUDGE-O-MATIC INTERCOM: Stu, it's the plant manager. He wants to know what's going on.
STU quickly picks up the other phone.
STU: (Hurriedly) I-know-about-your- monitor. I'm-talking-to-the-vendor. I'll get- back-to-you-AS-SOON-AS-I-CAN! (A pause) Yes, sir. I know, sir. I'm working on it as best I can, sir. I'll let you know as soon as the system is back up.
STU hangs up the second phone and returns to the HELP DESK line.
STU: OK, I'm back.
HELP DESK: I just tried calling the modem on a voice line and got a recording saying the line was
|When an Emergency Takes Center Stage||105.8 KB|