That didn't occur to me. I'll have the Oracle sysadmins look into that possibility. The Oracle database in question is our University's Banner system. Its workload changes constantly and is accessed by multiple systems/applications/users. A difficult task.
So far, most of our debugging has been from the Perl side and through firewall and IPS monitoring tools. Maybe when we get some feedback from the Oracle sysadmins, we'll get more useful info. That's why I'm trying to concentrate on being able to recognize the problem and gracefully terminate the program.