Haunted SQL: The ghost of Management Studio


October 30, 2017 by Kenneth Fisher

Have you ever had a query change performance unexpectedly? Intellisense all of a sudden stops working, or gives inconsistent results? AutoSave should have worked and saved your work after that unexpected (unexplained) crash? Ever had a query that was taking a long time and you can’t figure out why? Then you call for help, your help walks up and the query suddenly finishes? Every wonder why?

Fair warning, this story is not for the faint of heart. If you frighten easily, I would stop here and move on to something more light-hearted. Pictures of fluffy bunnies perhaps.

Once, many versions of SQL ago, there was a pair of developers working in an office deep in the bowels of Building 35 at Microsoft. It had been almost 5 years since the last release and management wanted everything to be perfect! The hapless developers had been given a highly aggressive deadline. The deadline was so aggressive that they rarely left their offices. Pizza boxes and soda bottles were scattered everywhere. After weeks of this, the pair started getting .. well .. strange. People started avoiding the area. Those that did pass by would report odd smells and sounds. One manager said that as he hurried by, he heard a third, inhuman voice arguing with the other two. No one believed him of course.

Weeks passed and the deadline got closer and closer. Eventually, the day of the deadline arrived and the final code was submitted. Everyone involved breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Except the two developers.

Neither of the pair could be found anywhere. A concerned manager (named, let’s say, Poul Roundhall) finally sent a sacrificial intern to check their office. All that was found was a huge mess. Odd symbols had been drawn on several of the pizza boxes and etched into the PCs. A few of the pizza boxes even had odd shaped bites taken out of them.

Ever since that day, odd things happen when using Management Studio. It is said (softly), that if you stand in front of your computer and say “Merge Replication” backward 3 times while spinning slowly around you will sometimes see a flicker of a screaming developer’s face on the screen and the odd occurrences will stop for a period of time. There is some risk, however. Some that have tried it have quit their jobs shortly afterward and they were never heard from again.

But I wouldn’t worry too much. It’s all just a rumor. Right?

2 thoughts on “Haunted SQL: The ghost of Management Studio

  1. I swear I saw those developers once… they were laughing at me over a mirroring split brain situation.

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