4. The Social Security Administration's data center

Jan. 1, 2011

February must have been a bad month for cabling. That copper-clad aluminum cable showed up. And Kelly Croft, deputy commissioner of systems for the Social Security Administration, testified before a joint Congressional subcommittee concerning the state of the SSA's data center. His testimony included the following: "We face ... tangled and overcrowded telecommunications and electrical cables beneath the data center floor. ... We cannot work on the cables safely without shutting down the affected systems. ... Troubleshooting problems is difficult when we cannot isolate cable pairs easily to determine whether the problems exist in the cables or the IT equipment."

This is the government entity we are counting on to provide us with income in our retirement years.

Really scary.

By the way, if the technician pictured above working in one of the SSA's data centers looks familiar to you, he did to me too. It reminded me that this type of work may be a dirty deed, but it's never done dirt cheap.

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