This IT director pilot fish has had to watch as his budget has shrunk -- to the point that his company's several remote call centers no longer have any IT staff on site.
"If there was an issue at any of the call centers, they'd find some kid they deemed the 'computer expert,'" says fish. "They usually based this determination on the fact that he could get their Wii, TV and smartphone all on a wireless network at home with next to no help.
"I would regularly get resumes from these 'experts,' or requests to join our teams if a position were ever to open. They thought they could do anything after being walked through upgrading memory or swapping out a UPS."
At one particular call center located several states away from company HQ, the site expert is particularly eager -- so much so that he regularly attempts things on his own that he's pretty clearly not qualified for, and slings around jargon that he obviously doesn't understand, all to show his expertise.
One day fish gets a report from this site expert that the local IP phones "don't work." After some prying, fish determines that the users have no problems making calls within the office, but they can't make VoIP calls out of the office to the rest of the network.
Fish is puzzled -- why would the PBX suddenly lose connectivity to the WAN? He spends half an hour troubleshooting before he finds the problem: The default gateway is wrong on the PBX. Fish corrects the issue, and the phones start working again.
Next day, fish brings up the incident with his senior network administrator. Net admin drops his head and explains that the site expert had been bugging the network admin all the previous day about removing "unused equipment" from the computer room.
"The network admin told the expert to clear it with me," fish says. "But instead, knowing it all, the site expert just removed the 'unused' equipment, which included a secondary router still used by the PBX.
"I asked the expert how he saw no correlation between removing network equipment and network devices failing.
"He had no response -- but he sent me an updated resume two weeks later, applying for a senior network administrator position."
Feed the Shark! Send me your true tale of IT life at firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.
The Best of Shark Tank includes more than 70 tales of IT woe submitted by you, our readers, since 1999. Which all goes to prove, conclusively, that hapless users and idiotic bosses are indeed worldwide phenomena. Free registration is all that's needed to download The Best of Shark Tank (PDF).