Actually, we hate that which-way guessing game too

City government tech upgrades several PCs acting as cash registers at the city's recreation center, reports a pilot fish whose desk is a few seats away.

"Each of the PCs had an existing USB credit-card slot reader that sits on top of the CPU," fish says. "After completing the replacement, tech returned to the IT department.

"Soon one user called to report the credit-card reader wasn't working at his PC. The other PCs were working as they should with the same configuration.

"Tech ran through several troubleshooting steps remotely with the user -- unplugging the card reader, rebooting, verifying lights, etc. A case was opened with the software vendor with additional troubleshooting steps, and they finally recommended a software patch and upgraded driver.

"Then the tech left for vacation and pushed the call to me the next day.

"I walked across our parking lot to the recreation center, opened Notepad to confirm the reader was working, and then asked the user to swipe a card -- which resulted in no characters and a 'See, it doesn't work.'

"After watching the user swipe the card, I turned the card reader over so the magnetic sensor was now oriented at the bottom and the card would be read when the card was facing up.

"Problem solved."

Sharky won't give you credit for your true tale of IT life -- in fact, I file off the identifying details. But send me your story at You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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