Shark Tank: Masters of the obvious

Helpdesk pilot fish overhears his co-worker taking a call. Turns out it's the company president's daughter with a PC problem. Co-worker makes the expected noises 'OK, uh-huh, I understand' and finally asks, 'When you lift up your laptop, does water still pour out of it?'

          Working on the requirements for a new version of an order processing application, developer pilot fish gets a very specific request from a user: "On the accounts receivable screen, I want the system to tell me when I have chequrs that I haven't deposited."

          Just after a user moves her PC to a new cubicle, she calls the helpdesk to report that her monitor no longer works. Are all the cables and cords connected? pilot fish asks. Sure, user says. When fish arrives at the cube, it takes only seconds to spot the problem: No power cord on the monitor. I'll be right back with a replacement cord, he tells user. "No need," says user. "There was a spare one left over after the PC was set up."

          Helpdesk pilot fish for a small pharmacy chain overhears his co-worker taking a call. Turns out it's the company president's daughter with a PC problem. Co-worker makes the expected noises "OK, uh-huh, I understand" and finally asks, "When you lift up your laptop, does water still pour out of it?"

          New IT pilot fish for a county sheriff's office isn't happy with delays in the countywide email system. After several tries, he finally gets the county email admin on the phone. "It's taking email sent from a building across the street three hours to reach our office," fish tells him. Replies admin: "That's not a problem for you, is it?"

          Client who's worried about usability has a question for website designer pilot fish: "This is our biggest concern with our website: How do we know if our site users are having a problem, are not aware of it and aren't submitting a complaint?"

          Trouble ticket escalates through multiple support levels to engineering pilot fish, who finally thinks to ask, "When, exactly, did your communications problem start?" User answers, "Just after someone from Loss Prevention went up on the roof with an axe to knock the ice off the satellite dish."

          Don't axe, just tell: sharky@computerworld.com. You score a sharp Shark shirt if your true tale of IT life sees print or if it shows up in the daily feed at computerworld.com/sharky.

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