Hey, Hobson's choice is still a choice, right?

This pilot fish becomes IT director for a mid-size city, and early on he has a chat with an IT manager who has a problem.

"He told me that he wished a computer used by the business office would be relocated to their area, as members of their staff were continuously coming to the data center to use it," says fish.

"I asked him if he wanted me to get it moved, and he responded that I could try -- he had been trying for over a year, but the business office refused, saying they didn't have space for the equipment.

"Just then, a manager from the business office entered the data center and proceeded to work on the system. I went to her and said, 'We're going to have to move this computer to the business office. Would Wednesday be fine, or would you prefer Thursday?'

"She responded, 'Thursday.'

"My manager stared at me in disbelief and asked how I was able to accomplish this. I told him the art of being a manager involved giving people options so they felt empowered, but ensuring that the end result was what was desired.

"He stared at me, shook his head and left the room."

Would you prefer to send Sharky a story about users or one about managers? Either way is fine by me -- just send me your true tale of IT life 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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