Shark Tank: There's two?

This user complains she can't log on -- her Shift key isn't working. True enough, says pilot fish, the left-hand Shift key on her laptop is dead. Is your other Shift key broken too? fish asks. 'Other Shift key?' says user blankly. 'Oh!'

          This user complains she can't log on -- her Shift key isn't working. True enough, says pilot fish, the left-hand Shift key on her laptop is dead. Is your other Shift key broken too? fish asks. "Other Shift key?" says user blankly. "Oh!"

          But it's better than the fax

          IT pilot fish is suddenly responsible for phone service, so she asks long-distance provider for a list of phone numbers currently getting service. And gets it -- as a blurry 29-page fax. Could you please send it in electronic form? fish asks. "An hour later, I received an email with the file attached," says fish. "It was a Word document with 29 pages of screenshots of the spreadsheet containing our phone numbers."

          Could be . . .

          This intranet application ran fine for two months, but now it's crashing the server, so pilot fish opens an error ticket. Four days later, server admins return his ticket marked "Solved," adding, "We watched the error log for four days, and no further entries were written into it, so we assume the problem has disappeared." Sighs fish, "Is it possible that's because the application has not been running for four days?"

          Why not oil it?

          This printer has a paper jam, and it's squeaking too, user tells helpdesk pilot fish. "What I found when I got there wasn't what I expected," fish says. "A mouse had made the printer casing his home and was partially caught in the rollers. After carefully removing all doors and panels that might block the way, I shook the printer casing and set it on the floor -- after which the mouse left the printer."

          That seems clear enough

          Pilot fish sends self-loading update CDs to field staff every month. But this time, it's more complicated, so fish includes a note that says in big, bold letters at the top, "You must follow these instructions!" Says fish, "I've had about 20 calls that go like this: Have you got the instructions? Yes, I have them in my hands. Have you read them? Click. Dial tone. So far, none have rung back for further instructions."

          Where great ideas come from

          Consultant pilot fish is on the phone with vendor's support tech, but having trouble -- tech keeps throwing out the vendor's internal jargon instead of industry-standard terms. Maybe you could write a dictionary of your terms and customers could study it to make these tech support calls more meaningful, fish suggests sarcastically. "That's a great idea," tech chirps. "I'll talk to my boss about it!"

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