[CONTEST CLOSED] Share your IT horror stories! Win a treat!

Community Manager

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UPDATE: This contest has ended. Thank you all for frightening us with your spooky stories! Our randomly selected winners are: @Polymathink@EJN, and @Madhan_kumar_G. Congratulations!

Don’t you just love fall? From the spicy smell of pumpkin pie baking in the oven, to the crunch of leaves underfoot, to the crisp chill in the air… it’s a great time to grab a blanket and cozy up by a fire. And now that October is here, Halloween is just around the corner. While we don’t have any tricks in store for you, there just may be some treats… read on for details of how you can secure your chance to win a pair of Cisco Meraki fuzzy socks.


‘Tis the season to be spooked! Before you dust off your spell books and break out your broomsticks, though, we thought it would be fun to kick things off with a little contest. I don’t know about you, but I love a good scare. 

So gather round, pull up a virtual chair by the light of our pretend campfire, and let’s tell some ghost stories! We want to hear your IT horror stories… Regale us with your tales of nightmarish networks, spooky servers, and petrifying permissions. What’s the scariest scenario you’ve encountered? 




How to win


To enter the contest, tell us your IT horror story in the comments below before 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, October 31st. Be careful not to use any company names, and be kind in your tales. We will then randomly draw 3 winners to receive a prize.


Read on if you dare...


If you need a little inspiration to get you started, we sourced some stories from our own Cisco Meraki team. Enjoy!


The Tale of the Vanishing Emails

Adam Slater, Cisco Meraki Content Engineering Manager, shared a story from his early days of working at a VAR. “I was on a project to migrate a school’s network and servers to a new site. Back then, everyone had their own Microsoft Exchange servers for email. We needed to take the site offline for a little while to move it over, and there was this email service that would spool up and hold mail on a cloud app, then you could reconnect it to deliver mail to the server after. I moved everything, installed the new firewall and equipment, and … I misconfigured the firewall. I pointed the address of the email server to a database server that just happened to be not configured correctly. The same port was open that received email, so as soon as it came online, the service said ‘I can connect to the email server.’ It unspooled a week’s worth of email to the database server that said, ‘I don’t know what to do with this,’ and rejected all of the mail. There was no backup, so I lost an entire week’s worth of this school’s emails.”

After an hour or two of troubleshooting, Adam talked to the IT department and contacted the head of the school to explain what happened. Unfortunately, there was no way to recover the lost emails. Luckily, because he owned up to his mistake fast, he got to keep his job! It was a valuable lesson in ensuring that there’s always a backup.  


The Hard Drive on Haunted Hill

Lance Fiveland, Product Architect for Cisco Meraki Global Enablement, offered a harrowing tale of his own. “Early in my IT career, I was a post sales engineer and was tasked with setting up core servers to our top clients. On this one particular instance, I had the owner watching me like a hawk. I might say he was stalking me, in keeping with the horror theme. After several days of setting up his servers and getting all of his clients up and running, we did a half day of training and made sure everyone was happy and things were humming along nicely.  I departed and went home that weekend with a strong sense of accomplishment. No sooner was I resting on my laurels than a 911 call came across our desk. It is the owner yelling and screaming that the whole network is down, and he is demanding something be done immediately. After several hours of trying to walk him through diagnostics to no avail, I jumped in my car and made the long, arduous journey to the client.


Upon entering the premises, I was met with the zombie horde of disgruntled employees and customers. I made a quick haste to the server room to see what was wrong and get them back up and running as soon as possible. Well to my horror, I noticed the owner had taken several brackets and very long screws and bolted the servers to the desk. What he didn’t realize at the time is he drove the screws into all the hard drive platters and destroyed everything in the process.  He wanted to stop anyone from stealing the equipment and, in the process, almost got himself killed but ended up just killing the servers instead.  When I tried to explain to him that this isn’t something covered under any warranty, he was not very pleased but had little recourse.

I did end up spending that weekend installing several new servers to satisfy the client and made sure the owner did not get anywhere near us or the server room again.  So all in all a happy ending and a pretty large sale.” 


oOoOo terrifying! Luckily, all’s well that ends well in that tale. We hope you enjoyed these scary stories from our team, and can’t wait to read what you all have encountered!



  • Limit one entry per community member
  • Submission period: Friday, October 21st, 2022 at 12:00pm EDT through Monday, October 31st, 2022 at 11:59pm EDT
  • Prize will be a selection of Meraki swag with value not exceeding USD 50.00
  • Official terms, conditions, and eligibility information