Just think of it as the 'self-inflicted' tax

Small interior-design firm pays this pilot fish to do computer and software maintenance as a side gig -- and that's really more than they should need.

"They were ten people who were generally clueless about computers and software," says fish. "They would try to install software and move computer equipment and often wind up calling me to fix their self-inflicted issues.

"One day I received a call saying that one UPS did not recover from a power surge caused by a blown transformer nearby. The UPS would power on but beeped, indicating it was on battery.

"After walking the user through the usual causes -- tripped circuit breaker at the breaker box, UPS became unplugged, too much was plugged to the UPS -- I guessed that the UPS battery was bad or the UPS itself was bad. They agreed I should come by.

"That evening, when I got to their office, I found the problem UPS plugged into a power strip -- one whose own circuit breaker had tripped.

"After getting the UPS plugged directly into the outlet, and leaving a note about not using power strips with a UPS, I was out the door."

Give Sharky a break. Send me your 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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