Shark Tank: Just foolin' around

Company is in the middle of migrating from one email system to another, so help desk pilot fish's first question to remote user is, 'Are you in Lotus Notes right now?' 'No,' puzzled user replies. 'I'm in Topeka, Kan.'

          New software project isn't going well, so pilot fish's boss decides to add a little levity by adding a message to the sign-on screen: "When you're not looking, this screen is in German." Sure enough, next day a user calls the project manager: "When the technical team did their maintenance last night, they messed something up. Now my screens are in German when I'm not looking."

          Client mentions to consultant pilot fish that he's replacing an OS/2 server. "Being an OS/2 fan, I asked why," fish says. "Seems the 'problem' is that it never crashes, so when they need to do work on it, no one can remember how to restart it." The replacement? Windows NT, "which everyone is much more familiar with restarting."

          User calls tech pilot fish to get a "brand new, still-in-the-box" PC hooked up. "What kind of PC is it?" fish asks. User is evasive but finally comes clean: It's a 286-based PC that's been sitting in an unheated warehouse for about 10 years. "But it should work OK," user insists. "It's brand new."

          Power goes out, and pilot fish wants to shut down the PC that runs the alarm-monitoring system (it's on a UPS, but its monitor isn't). "I can't see the mouse cursor," he grumbles. A nearby admin offers helpfully, "I have a flashlight in my desk. . . . "

          Company is in the middle of migrating from one email system to another, so help desk pilot fish's first question to remote user is, "Are you in Lotus Notes right now?" "No," puzzled user replies. "I'm in Topeka, Kan."

          Sun may not listen, but I will: sharky@computerworld.com. You get 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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