Just do the maths

Just Do the Math

Customer of this newly upgraded B2B order entry system complains it's much slower than the old version. "Since they had 250 people ordering at a time, this was elevated to our top priority," B2B pilot fish says. It takes a week, but fish finds the trouble: The customer has also "upgraded" from one dial-up line for each user to a DSL connection everyone shares. "We drew lots to see who got to explain that each user didn't get 768Kbit/sec., but 3.072Kbit/sec.," says fish. "The customer went back to dial-up."

Just Cool It

To help cool a crowded server closet, IT pilot fish buys a small water-cooled air conditioner. But temperature in the closet swings wildly, and a new thermostat doesn't help. Fish is ready to junk it when one day he spots the network cabling guy making new connections — and using the cooling unit as a stool. "There he was with his big butt right on the thermostat as the unit ran its little heart out," says fish. "He looked at me and said, 'I think there's something wrong with the A/C. You better get this unit serviced.' "

Just Change It

This government-regulated online casino is working on a new version of its software, which will require regulators' OK. Pilot fish realizes he can cut paperwork by making sure the new version conforms to the already approved procedures document. So he does — and catches flak for it. "I am told that if I do not make some changes and resubmit the procedures document, it will look like my section was overlooked," fish says. "So I had one of my staff change the images around and resubmit it as new. Surprise, surprise — no problems."

Just Patch It

On the third day after this company's system is brought to its knees by the Blaster worm, PC support tech asks pilot fish if he has installed the patch support just posted, No, says fish — I did that three weeks ago, when the patch was made public. "I don't have time to argue," tech snaps. "Just install the patch before your machine gets infected!"

Just Schedule It

Boss calls pilot fish to suggest hiring temp support staff to handle the recent volume of virus and network problems. We're using overtime and creative scheduling to manage what's likely to be a short-term issue, fish says. And hiring and training someone would take at least three or four weeks. "I understand," says boss. "But we should examine setting this up prior to future spikes in the number of calls."

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