Now how could THAT happen?

Flash back to the 1980s, when this IT pilot fish is in an Army unit that uses some early PCs for word processing.

"The PCs had 10MB removable hard drives, which had to be secured in a safe, at night. Each officer had one," fish says.

"We also had clerk typists. The officers used to harass them, of course, and so did their NCOs.

"The officers would give the hard drive to a clerk typist, so they could type up letters and store them. Depending on the irritation level of the clerk typist, occasionally the hard drives would be accidentally dropped on the concrete floor. Sometimes several times. Sometimes launched at high speed, multiple times, over several days.

"Physical activity is one way to relieve stress and irritation, and this particular activity offered some noisy, instantly available feedback.

"Occasionally, officers would complain about their hard drives not working any more. It seems they would crash without warning. I can't imagine why..."

Sharky isn't the irritable type -- at least not if I keep getting true tales of IT life to tell. Send yours to me 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.

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).

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