Shark Tank: Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Clueless consultants? Bungling bosses? Useless users? Read about the trials and tribulations workers (pilot fish) have with their bosses (sharks).

          Install program for this piece of company software isn't working properly, so pilot fish calls the help desk. "Model number?" tech asks. IBM Model 6887, says fish. "I don't know what a 6887 is," says tech. "Well, on the front it says, 'IBM Personal Computer 750,' " fish reports. "Sorry, we can't help you with a personal computer; this number is only for support of company computers." Click!

          When network communications fail between this big construction project in the Caribbean and engineering company's stateside headquarters, stateside boss screams at on-site pilot fish to find the problem and fix it, now! After days of troubleshooting with island's telecommunications providers, fish locates the point of failure: "Stateside headquarters is incommunicado," he reports, "because its equipment is under four feet of water from a flood."

          General failure error message flashes each time user at this remote office turns on his PC, so support pilot fish asks him to send it back to headquarters. But only the monitor arrives. Fish calls and asks, Why didn't you send the CPU? Says user, "Well, the monitor was the only one showing the error."

          After a failed security audit, IT consultant pilot fish is going over the results with a senior systems manager. "Using 'norman1' as a password would be a bad idea," fish points out. "It's like using your date of birth for your bank card PIN." Replies manager, "What's wrong with that?"

          Job interview with a contract IT outfit goes well for this pilot fish, but then she hears from the outraged people whose names she gave as references, all of whom were contacted by the prospective employer. "They used my name as a hook," fish says, "and then tried to sell them services!"

          I won't sell you out: sharky@computerworld.com. You score a snazzy 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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