Back in the late '70's I was promoted to a position in charge of a DEC VAX 11/780 system. I had taken all the Sys Admin courses that DEC offered and quite a few of the sys level programming courses from them, too.
My first day on the job, all pumped up with my "superior skills" I wrote my first sys admin program to help me better manage the User Accounts, especially the Password file.
Just the tiniest of errors crept in and I deleted the master password file...without knowing it.
I logged off and after about an hour I started getting frantic calls from users who could not log on. When I tried I, too, could not log on!
The previous Sys Admin (who'd worked as an Admin for about 10 years and had about 3 years on VAX systems let me stew and fret for about 2 hours...after had quickly but unbeknownst to me fixed the problem for everyone else so that only I was locked out...and then revealed to me the "error of my ways." I hadn't even smart enough to see that he'd fixed the problem or to wonder why I quickly stopped getting those phone calls...Duhhhhh!
Amazing how a bit of fear mixed with a good measure of embarrasment goes so far to bring humbleness and caution in our sometimes youthful wrecklessness. His gentleness with me, however, also has stayed with me reminding me that 'we're all human (except for zantara who just plays one here on earth) and mistakes happen."
Loved your post. Brought back some fond, if humbling, memories!
ack Albuquerque, NM