Pilot fish at this manufacturing facility gets a call from a user whose other phone is not at all happy.

The user's complaint: "I get the message 'file auth error' when I plug the phone in."

Reports fish, "A review of the network log files reveals the IP telephone is drawing too much power. I assume the phone is bad.

"I go to the location and find the cable is more than 350 feet. It's laying on the ground, with two splices using gel-filled beetle clamps, a small coil at the far end resting on an electrical panel, and a giant knot of electrical tape to weather-proof the splices.

"Seems the electrical contractor moved his office to a new trailer, bought a box of Cat 5 and got busy. No wonder it's killing the telephone load..."

Connect with Sharky. Send me your true tale of IT life at You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

Get your daily dose of out-takes from the IT Theater of the Absurd delivered directly to your Inbox. Subscribe now to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Computerworld's IT Salary Survey 2017 results
Shop Tech Products at Amazon