Shark tank: Yeah, right

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

School district servers are underpowered for all the traffic they have to handle, reports insider pilot fish. So new high-performance servers are installed but the network is still unusable. IT boss' explanation to the school district staff: "Before, the servers didn't have enough memory to hold and process all the information. The new servers are so big that the information is getting lost."

LAN admin pilot fish asks IT director for a shorter web address. IT director's response: "Use a smaller font."

Consultant wins a bid to buy and install colour printers on the network for this office. But as soon as the job is done, IT support pilot fish gets calls from users complaining that their printouts are still in black and white. Fish discovers that the contractor never installed color printer drivers on users' PCs. Contractor's answer: "You wanted to print in colour? You only said you wanted colour printers."

Something's wrong with the type-ahead feature in this pilot fish's copy of Lotus Notes: It inserts the wrong address when he tries to send a message to the help desk. Fish finally sends help desk a handwritten description of the problem and gets this reply: "We only support the type-ahead feature if it's disabled."

Data centre manager's penny-pinching results in lousy network reliability, pilot fish reports. So an ultimatum comes down from senior management: Come up with a solution that guarantees 100% uptime. Manager smugly informs staff that they'll add a second carrier to all their key network links. "Then, when we have that redundancy built in, we'll get rid of the first carrier they're charging us too much," he says.

Tell me your tale: sharky@computerworld.com. You get a stylish Shark shirt if your true story of IT life sees print or if it shows up in the daily feed at computerworld.com/sharky.

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