Pick a number, any number

Data center pilot fish is a programmer who works on his company's internal software, so he's the one who's called in when this user gets an unexpected error.

User: "Help! Some of the items in this batch job are giving validation code 38, but everything looks OK. This needs to be fixed right away. It's causing lots of extra work."

Fish: Hmm, let me check that. Yep, they look OK. I don't know why you got that code. Resubmit them and lets try again, please.

Not long after:

User: "Here are more examples of the code 38 problem from the latest run."

Fish: Did you resubmit the first ones?

User: "Yes, they worked after bypassing validation code 45."

Fish: Wait, bypassing 45 corrected 38?

User: "Oops, we told you the wrong number. It's been a problem with 45 all along, not 38."

Fish: (sighing) Let me check that. OK, yes, there is a problem with 45. I'll fix that for the next run.

User: "Thanks so much!"

Sharky's favorite number is however many stories you have. But how about sending me just one true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com? You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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