Another satisfied customer

IT pilot fish at this state agency hires a new programmer and turns him loose to see how he'll do -- always aware that, even with the best screening practices, you just never know how a new hire will work out.

"Around the end of the first week, he wandered into my office and made a confession," reports fish. "He said he had done something without checking with me and wanted to make sure it was OK after the fact."

Uh oh, fish thinks.

New guy goes on to describe a request received from a particular user. As soon as fish hears the user's name, he's even more concerned. This is one of the most demanding users, who's extremely challenging to work with. Even fish's most seasoned developers struggle to deal with this one.

New programmer proceeds to describe the request: The user wants a piece of text on a report moved four pixels to the left.

Fish knows the report -- it's delivered in a PDF file that could be set to any size, and viewed by any of a dozen versions of different browsers on a screen set to any resolution. This four-pixel request just isn't possible.

That's what the new guy thinks too. So, he tells fish, he did nothing to the report.

Instead, he waited 15 minutes, called the user and told him the change had been made.

The user checked the report, and then said it looked great, new guy tells fish.

"The new programmer looked at me and asked if he was in trouble for handling the issue in this manner," fish says.

"I laughed and thought to myself, 'This new guy is going to work out just fine.'"

Sharky love a happy ending. Or really any ending as long as it's attached to a true tale of IT life. Send yours to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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