Why we love engineers

This IT pilot fish works at a big company that makes steel buildings, and he deals with engineers all the time as the sole tech in a remote office dedicated to sales, engineering and drafting.

"Last year started with our company in the midst of an upgrade to Windows 7," says fish. "A small team of contractors was hired to travel from site to site, working with the local tech to ensure that each users' data and programs were quickly and properly migrated.

"A week before they arrived at my site, an email was sent to the users saying they needed to remove any personal data or programs, since we didn't want to waste time waiting for Suzie's massive iTunes collection to get backed up to our servers."

As fish is leaving for the weekend before the conversion, he gets a text: "Fred the engineer's computer won't work. He said all he did was delete his cookies." But now Fred can't open My Computer or Internet Explorer, though others such as Office work fine, and still others throw odd error messages.

Fish calls Fred and tells him to stay off the computer until Monday, when he'll be the first to get an upgrade.

Monday comes, and fish goes straight to Fred's desk. Show me what you did, he tells Fred, who starts walking him through the steps. But instead of going to Delete under Internet Options, he clicks Settings, then View Files.

Why are you doing that? fish asks.

Fred explains that he used to do it the normal way. But once, out of curiosity, he clicked on "View Files" when the deletion was complete, and found that many temporary files still existed, so he decided it was more efficient to manually delete all the files.

Sighs fish, "I told him, 'Well, I guess you now know why those files didn't get deleted.' Then I proceeded to install a new operating system for him.

"Ever since, if somebody in our office has an odd problem with their computer, they often add 'and no, Fred didn't help me delete my cookies.'"

Don't delete anything until you send Sharky your story. Email your true tale of IT life to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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