Out to lunch

This manufacturing plant has no lunchroom for the office workers, so as usual they're eating lunch in the conference room when Barney from sales walks in, says an IT pilot fish on the scene.

"Barney is setting up for a meeting that will be starting soon," fish says. "As he turns on the projector and prepares the computer, he strikes up a conversation with the time-and-attendance admin sitting near me.

"He says, 'I forwarded that email from Intuit Payroll on to Fred because I didn't know what to do with it.'"

Barney suddenly has fish's full attention. Fish knows Barney was a victim of social engineering before -- one of those "UPS has tried to deliver your package" scams -- and that in the 15 years Barney has worked in the plant, he's gotten several emails warning that if he doesn't know where email comes from and isn't expecting it, he should verify it or delete it.

And he certainly shouldn't be forwarding it to Fred, the accounting manager.

The payroll admin is saying "Our payroll is done by ADP, so that makes no sense" when fish interrupts. Did you open it, fish asks Barney, hoping against hope he'll surprise her with No.

"I did," Barney says. "It had an attachment and it just had hieroglyphics in it. I don't know what that was all about."

Suddenly fish doesn't feel hungry any longer. She packs up her lunch and heads down the hall to Fred's office.

Hey, Fred, she asks, did you open that email from Barney?

"Yes, I did."

Did you open the attachment too?

Fred hangs his head a bit. "Yes, and I forwarded it on to Wilma in payroll. Should I not have done that?"

No, says fish. Can you call Wilma and see if she has opened it yet and let me know?

Reports fish, "After Fred nods his head, I go back to my office to download the latest version of our anti-malware software. I have a feeling I'm going to need it this afternoon.

"As the download starts, Fred appears in my doorway to report that Wilma didn't open the email, nor did she forward it on. Thank goodness someone reads my emails."

Sharky reads all his emails, looking for true tales 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.

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.

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
Windows 10 annoyances and solutions
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.