When I was still in college, before I even knew what an HPLC system was, I was privy to an exchange between a grad student, and a system management technician. It appears the student had injected an NaOH saturated solution of ethanol onto a normal phase column.
The technician was pretty angry, and was certain the column was destroyed. Most people who know about silica columns would agree. And many non-experts who know that strong base etches soft glass can make the connection -- finely divided silica can't handle base, and realize there was theoretical support for the technicians point of view. At least it made sense to me at the time. I knew that injections on this column were usually hexane extractions of aqueous solutions, so the procedure she'd used seemed out of place, at the very least.
The student was adamant that she had followed a published protocol. The technician, did not agree she was following a correct protocol, she either misread it, or it was for some reason bogus. She did not relent on her position, that she'd done nothing wrong by following her protocol. And back and forth it went.
I tell this story to as many people as I can, whenever I'm in a lab environment, and I discovered that there are two kinds of people in this world. People annoyed at listening to me and people who haven't met me yet. No, wait, that's not it.
Some people when told this story, either know what can damage a column, or know to defer to an authority or, at the very least, when confronted by disagreement on a technical point, agree to seek out support for their point of view, before they insist further. And these sorts of people are fine to work with, I've found.
Occasionally, someone will take the grad student's position -- even though this dilemma doesn't actually affect them in the here and now. They insist that respecting someone's point of view, no matter how flimsy the support, is absolutely needed. Simply by achieving grad student status, her point of view had to be respected, and her assurances that she was following a protocol, shouldn't be questioned. And these people I've learned, are to be avoided at all costs. With a little luck they hang themselves with their own rope. Unfortunately, they sometimes can't be avoided well enough to keep yourself perfectly safe. But it's good to know where someone is coming from, just in case.