The Dangers of Working at Home

I was recently named Web Administrator for my company and had been working closely with the graphics designers for the corporation to blend my concepts with the "mother site" while retaining some individuality for our separate web site. The designers had developed some graphics for me, which I wanted to get quickly. Because our T-1 line was not yet in, I was working through a local ISP. When the designer asked where she could FTP the files so I would get them immediately, I gave her the login and password for my public_html directory. As this was really "against the rules," I was a bit nervous, but I really needed those graphics.

The next day, I received an e-mail telling me the graphics had been FTPed successfully. Delighted, I FTPed into my public-html directory and discovered a meg of graphics (with telling titles like "axcqvw02.gif.hqx"). I quickly transferred these files to disk (about 30 minutes). However, when I tried to open them in my graphics program, they were unreadable. Two hours later, I had figured out that the files were Mac compressed files. Now I needed a "Stuffit Expander" for Windows. Two more hours later, I had found and installed the expander. The files on my disk would not expand, so back to the FTP site to download and try again.

Voila! I tried the first graphic-- carefully downloading, expanding, testing in my graphics program, saving, and then deleting the original from my FTP directory (fearing that I would get caught at this somewhat illicit use of my provider's disk space). I went through the same routine for each file, slowly, carefully capturing the graphics. As I filled up a disk, I inserted a new one and dropped the old one on the floor.

Several hours later I finally completed the last graphic and had a clear public_html directory, disks full of graphics, and a very satisfying morning. I grabbed my package of labels, and turned to retrieve the disks from the floor. They were gone. Thinking I had maybe put them somewhere without really knowing it, I looked around the area. The disks were nowhere to be found.

Confused, I stood up, moving away from my computer, and noticed our dog laying on the other side of the room, surrounded by strange black specks. I walked over and gasped in shock at my discovery.

Yes, the dog had eaten my disks!

After I recovered from my immediate impulse to kill my pet (man's best friend!?), I realized I had learned several lessons:

Realize that homes are fraught with dangers you would never worry about when you are in your office, and the people who are counting on your work will not be amused when you have to tell them you didn't complete the job because "the dog ate my disks."

Story submitted by Nancy L. Stegall .

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