Now let's see if we can zero in on that

This pilot fish works in a manufacturing plant that's very spread out, with plenty of subareas and locations within the complex.

How big? "Oftentimes, bicycles or cars are used to travel from area to area," reports fish. "For example, a call may come from the finishing building or from the warehouse or tank farm.

"One morning, a user calls and explains he is having problems with his email.

"He further describes the problem as being that email works well when using the computer upstairs, but while he can log onto the computer downstairs, he cannot access his email.

"Making notation for the trouble ticket, I inquire, 'Where are you?'

"User replies: 'I'm in front of the computer.'"

Sharky knows it's a big world out there, and that means there are lots of true tales of IT life. Send yours to me at 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).

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