Three Envelopes

A fellow had just been hired as the new sysadmin of a large high tech corporation. The sysadmin who was leaving met with him privately and presented him with three numbered envelopes. “Open these if you run up against a problem you don’t think you can solve,” he said.

Well, things went along pretty smoothly, but six months later, there a major DoS attack against the infrusture and he was really catching a lot of heat. About at his wit’s end, he remembered the envelopes. He went to his drawer and took out the first envelope. The message read, “Blame your predecessor.”

The sysadmin went to his superiors and tactfully laid the blame at the feet of the previous admin because of bad security. Satisfied with his comments, management responded positively, he sorted it all out, got the servers running again and the problem was soon behind him.

About a year later, the company was again experiencing a major outage, combined with serious hacking problems. Having learned from his previous experience, the sysadmin quickly opened the second envelope. The message read, “Blame the cloud hosts.” This he did, and the company quickly rebounded.

After several consecutive months of no downtime, the servers once again acted up. The admin went to his office, closed the door and opened the third envelope.

The message said, “Prepare three envelopes.”

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