Unclear on the concept, but he can live with that

Flashback to the 1980s, when this pilot fish works for a big electric utility that hasn't quite gotten the hang of computers outside the data center.

"I was asked to help fix numerous problems happening with one of their minicomputers," says fish. "Upon arrival at the facility, I discovered that the computer was located directly adjacent to one of the large generators, which produced gigantic magnetic fields as part of the generation process.

"In fact, after working there for a couple of weeks, I discovered that metal items like my pocketknife became magnetized.

"I reported this potential problem to management -- only to be told to fix the problems and not worry about the location of the computer.

"Needless to say, this kept me gainfully employed for quite some time, as no one in management ever seemed to grasp the concept of what significant magnetism could do to minicomputers and their magnetic disk drives."

Sharky hopes his magnetic personality will attract your true tale of IT life. No, huh? OK, how about this: Send it to me anyway at sharky@computerworld.com, and I'll send you 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).

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