A friend of mine once told a tale about his years at the Apple Genius Bar that I never forgot. It involved a customer, a Mac Mini, and a handful of cockroaches.

Today I asked him for a refresher, and it turns out the story was even worse than my memories. Does your experience top this one?

Me: Can you remind me what happened with the cockroaches?

Him: Roaches were alive and actually escaped out of the air vents from the back of a Mac Mini while I was powering it up to troubleshoot.

Me: Holy god

Him: 3 full-size German roaches.

Me: Nooooo

Him: Yeah. It was an old man I was helping and I don't think he noticed right away. I did my best to be discreet and get them off the counter to where I could kill them.

Him: I got 2 of the 3.

Me: Hero. Was that the main problem with the computer?

Him: Hah! Thankfully no. I can only imagine the infestation it would take to actually break the machine. They do like warm, dark places.

Me: Whyyyy

Him: What better spot than a well-constructed box that stays consistently warm when running.

I thought my friend had sufficiently traumatized me for the day, but he had another story about the intersection of wildlife and computing.

Me: Wait, what? Mummified salamanders?!

Him: Those were found in a Mac Pro. The giant aluminum design, not the current trash can design.

Customer had brought it in because it wasn't powering on. After checking it in and removing the side panel, we counted 5 'baby' or young completely dried out salamander corpses.

If I remember correctly, the customers moved to NY from Hawaii.

These creepy cretin encounters made me think that many of Gizmodo's readers must have strange stories out of IT to tell. What's the weirdest stuff you've encountered while working in IT?

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Did you deal with customers from hell? Find yourself explaining the simplest task to a would-be expert? See something on a hard drive you could never unsee? Please tell me your stories in the comments. I need distraction so that I can stop thinking about roaches for a while.

Image: Wikimedia Commons