Shark Tank: Now what?

Sysadmin pilot fish isn't making much headway over the phone with the user who paged him about a balky system -- user keeps complaining he can't hear. Exasperated user tells fish, 'This would be a lot easier if the alarms were off...'

          Sysadmin pilot fish isn't making much headway over the phone with the user who paged him about a balky system -- user keeps complaining he can't hear. Exasperated user tells fish, "This would be a lot easier if the alarms were off. I can't hear you over the sound of the running water." What running water? asks fish with sudden dread. "The water running down from the leak in the ceiling. There's water all over the floor, and the alarm has been beeping since I came in a couple of hours ago. OK, so I've got the machine shut down. Now what?"

          How do you think he feels?

          Please come and bring your keyboard vacuum, user asks help desk pilot fish. "I have this semicomatose fly under my P," user says. "He landed on my keyboard, I hit him with my steno pad, and he fell between the P and the :; keys. He is still alive, and his little legs keep fluttering, and it's really grossing me out. By the time you get here, he will be dead. However, I do not think I can be very productive if I have to type on a keyboard with a fly corpse under it."

          Just shut up

          New temporary contract IT manager trying to ingratiate himself by chatting with a pair of data centre pilot fish tells one, "I @#$&#* hate contractors!" From fish's reaction, the manager realises he's talking to a contractor. Then he turns to the other fish, not knowing he's a longtime employee. "But I'll tell you one thing, contractors are much more skilled and motivated than any of the locals you'll find here."

          Why bother?

          Frantic salesman ambushes support pilot fish who has stopped by the office one Saturday. As he fixes the minor problem on the salesman's PC, fish asks when the trouble showed up. "Thursday," salesman replies. You know we're not usually here on weekends, says fish. Why didn't you call it in before? "I didn't need to use the PC on Friday," shrugs salesman, "so I didn't bother to call."

          Ready, aim . . .

          At this university data centre in the early 1970s, students facing deadlines would sometimes pound on the glass wall to prompt system operator pilot fish to run their decks of punched cards. "There was lots of spare time back then," says fish, "and one evening shift I was using that spare time to clean a rifle." So when one student in a hurry pounds on the glass, fish turns toward him -- with rifle in hand. Says fish, "I didn't see him for the rest of the semester."

          Feed the shark - send your true tale of IT life to sharky@computerworld.com. You snag a snazzy shark shirt if we use it.

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