Great career advancing move for the Accounting Department

USA Today/AP has the story:
Phone bill traps man
Tennessee's deputy finance commissioner spent 13 hours stuck in an elevator at the state Capitol after no one paid a phone bill.

Jerry Adams, who oversees Tennessee's $25 billion budget, was working alone a few weekends ago when he stepped into an elevator, which promptly broke and left him stranded between floors.

Adams picked up the phone in the elevator, but it didn't work because the bill for the phone hadn't been paid and the service was disconnected, officials said.

Finance Department spokeswoman Lola Potter said the bill was mistakenly sent to the Department of Human Services. Officials there had no record of the line and didn't pay the bill.

In the elevator, Adams said the only thing he could do was push a button that rang an emergency bell. He did that every five minutes for hours, but the building was deserted.

At about 4 a.m. the next morning, the cleaning crew heard Adams stirring and rescue crews finally freed him.

"It was not the way I wanted to spend a Sunday evening," said Adams, who lives alone.
A couple things come immediately to mind. The building probably had a central internal phone system (a PBX). Why wasn't the elevator tied into this system instead of a single outside telephone line. Secondly, it is a trivial matter to organize repeating bills and to anticipate when they are due, why didn't the trolls in Accounting see that an expected incoming bill was not being received and processed. Thirdly, the Department of Human Services was receiving a monthly bill for a phone line -- they went so far as to determine that it was not for one of their telephones. Did the pin-heads there ever stop to think (they probably did and forgot to start again) that this might be an important number and try to find out where it was. I mean really, the phone number should be on the bill and calling an elevator phone during business hours should surely get someone picking up the other end. Fourthly, doesn't that building have some kind of safety committee that regularly checks things like this? I mean DUUHHH... Finally, considering that the poor guy caught oversees Tennessee's $25 billion budget, this will result in some heads rolling and justifiably.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on May 25, 2005 7:40 PM.

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