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"Didn't you see the sign that says "do NOT dial 9 first"?" Topic


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789 hits since 13 Jun 2013
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo taskforce58 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2013 4:59 a.m. PST

Where I work most of our faxing are done through a fax-server where you just print or email the document you want to fax and the server send it out, without a single sheet of paper involved. But we still have a number of old fashioned fax machines in use, since not everything is generated electronically (e.g. waybills, photocopies of cheques, etc). These fax machines uses regular plain phone lines that are not part of our central phone system, and so do not require the user to dial "9" first to get an external line. All these machines have a label on it printed in large letters "Do Not Dial 9 First".

One day reception called me up and says there are a couple of police officers here in response to a 911 call, and she gave me a phone number that the police says the call was originated from. So I looked up the number in our database, and sure enough it was used by one of the fax machines. I went down to the department where the machine is, and there right on the top of the output tray of the fax machine is a fax failure notice – it prints one out whenever a fax was not able to complete for whatever reason. And right on the notice is the number it tried to call.

Apparently someone tried to fax to a location with an area code that begins with "1" (we are just outside of Toronto, area code 905), and the idiot punched in "9" first, then a "1" for an out of area call, then the rest of the number. Therefore the resulting string of numbers is "9-1-1xx-xxx-xxxx".

So I brought the pair of officers over to where the machine is, showed them the fax failure notice with the number it tried to dial, even showed them the label on the machine that reminds people not to dial 9. Thankfully they too found it amusing and let the matter drop, since this is the first time such an incident occurred.

Of course, afterwards I had to notify several people of the incident – the supervisor of that department so that he can have a chat with his entire team, the building manager since the police was involved, and the HR manager to send out an "All-Recipient" email reminding the mass not to dial 9.

And just to be sure I printed out more "do not dial 9" labels with larger fonts and stick them on all the fax machines, on a spot even closer to the number keys than the existing labels. Which is not an easy thing to do as there aren't much large empty flat spots on the machine close to the number keys to begin with.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2013 5:34 a.m. PST

Have you considered public flogging, to encourage morale?

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2013 6:08 a.m. PST

How about logging fax machine usage by employee name/number. Make it very clear this is done due to the incident you related. And that violators are subject to immediate dismissal.

altfritz14 Jun 2013 6:09 a.m. PST

We have to dial "89" to make an outside call. "911" still works actually it works whether you dial "89" first or not.

Unfortunately some people had to be told not to test it as each time they did it tied up the emergency number. Of course, they had to test both ways "just to see if it worked."

Eclectic Wave14 Jun 2013 6:41 a.m. PST

Our office has a alarm system, each employee has a small laminated card with the instructions for shutting off the alarm and arming the alarm and each employee has a unique number code to shut off or arm the alarm. On the back side of the card is the special duress code, that will shutdown the alarm but call the police, incase you are being forced to shut the alarm off under duress.

One of our employees, has been punching in the duress code when they come in to shut the alarm off for the day. It has happened three times now (not in a row), and they have resorted to reprinting the cards with different colors and much bigger instructions (you can now read the words DURESS CODE printed in bold red type from 10 feet away on a 2x3 card))because this one person cannot tell the difference between the regular code and the duress code. Even though the duress code has always had the words 'duress code' plainly printed in front of the number!

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Jun 2013 6:54 a.m. PST

We have access codes for long distance calls, a string of numbers required to be dialed after the long distance number so the phone system will allow the call to go through. We have some high speed people who have those digits on speed dial. And some who accidentally hang up the phone while the codes are being dialed.

We ended up scrubbing the code list and removing "911" and some other codes (like extensions to executive leaderships which you could dial directly from the phones) from the codes list.

Good solution heap work on the tech guys (of which I am not, nor do I supervise) to compensate for mistakes by others. I wish we had public flogging of the individuals involved, instead.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2013 9:38 a.m. PST

this one person cannot tell the difference between the regular code and the duress code. Even though the duress code has always had the words 'duress code' plainly printed in front of the number!

I suspect this person doesn't know the meaning of the word "duress." Try "Danger Code" or "Emergency Code" or "HELP I MIGHT DIE Code"

pmwalt Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2013 12:02 p.m. PST

The same person who dialed the 9 was probably the same person at my work place who put a piece of bread on a Styrofoam plate and then sent it through the toaster in the cafeteria….

The Hobbybox Inactive Member14 Jun 2013 12:46 p.m. PST

I'm a firm believer in the idea that we should kill the weak ones as an example to the others.

I've been close to doing that with a number of people at my work recently.

Last Hussar14 Jun 2013 3:35 p.m. PST

Our phone calls are tracked. If you use more than a £5.00 GBP per month, you get a printout. You have to then check it for 'personal' calls, and supposedly pay for them.

How do they know?

and EIGHT digit pin code. Then a 9 for an outside line

UK numbers are (01234) 567890 (NB if this rings, it will be in Bedford)

The first 5 are the area code. You do not need this for calls within your code.

To make a local phone call I have to type 9 digits to get an outside line, so I can dial the 6 I need…

Personal logo UltraOrk Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2013 4:56 a.m. PST

Sometimes you just can't fix stupid

Militia Pete Supporting Member of TMP25 Jul 2013 6:29 p.m. PST

Maybe we should execute their trainer.
Ming the Merciless.

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