Shark Tank: Just the fax

'Once I turn off my computer, it won't receive faxes,' user tells helpdesk pilot fish. 'I should still be able to receive faxes when my computer is off. It works fine when my computer is on.'

          "Once I turn off my computer, it won't receive faxes," user tells helpdesk pilot fish. "I should still be able to receive faxes when my computer is off. It works fine when my computer is on."

          Unclear on the concept

          Air Force pilot fish reports that he can't log into his email.

          "Send us an email detailing the problem," helpdesk tech tells him.

          "I can't," says fish "because I can't log into my email. Can't you take the trouble ticket over the phone?"

          Tech: "No, to confirm your identity, it has to come from your email account. Can you use someone else's email?"

          Fish: "How will that confirm my identity?"

          Tech: "Just put your signature block on the bottom of the email."


          Database admin pilot fish takes a part-time gig automating mainframe database maintenance for this bank. It takes 50 hours over six weeks, but it works beautifully when he leaves.

          A week later, he gets a call: His work was erased. Can he come back and do it all again?

          "When I left, for security reasons, my ID was immediately cancelled and my disk space on the mainframe was reassigned," groans fish.

          "Management hadn't even taken any steps to save all the work!"

          Nobody's perfekt

          After a major crash, company president gets a new laptop -- but he soon complains that the spell checker for his email program is broken. It doesn't take long for support pilot fish to track down the problem: "Most of the entries the president had added to his custom dictionary were misspelled."

          But what a deal

          For this new accounting system project, IT director nails a great deal on brand-name PCs.

          "He got such a smoking good deal on them that he set up a large purchase in advance of the rollout," says a pilot fish on the scene.

          "Unfortunately, it was 18 months in advance of the rollout. And when time came to deploy the PCs, the software had outgrown the systems," sighs fish. "Dumpster file."

          Doing it right

          To make sure a new sales report runs correctly, developer pilot fish does a final test using the production database. Don't do that! says horrified VP of sales. It could hurt the company if that information got into the hands of competitors. Only use the test database, he tells fish.

          But the test database is just a copy of the production data, fish points out. "Print from the test database all you want," VP insists, "but if you print from the production database again, you're fired."

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