When you’ve been a programmer long enough, and a system administrator, you learn to develop a distrust bordering on paranoia. People always get insulted when I check to see if what they told me is true — “the file doesn’t exist”, “it is more than two days old”, “the machine went a reboot”, etc. — I never take it on faith. I often explain that it is not really anything about their character — I hardly trust *myself*. If I think something is true, I check it. Always. Because you’re always wrong about something, and it’s better to know it soon.
Lesson for the day: never trust anything anyone tells you about a computer if you’re trying to fix a problem. Ever.