Hidden in plain sight

Lots of the employees at this small organization only travel once or twice a year, so they don't all need laptops on their desks, reports a pilot fish who manages the help desk.

"Instead, we have a few spare laptops available for checkout," fish says.

"Recently I heard one of my techs explaining the ins and outs of VPN use to a user checking out a laptop. A couple hours later, he stopped by my desk and asked, 'Do you know why she wanted to check out a laptop, when she has one on her desk?'

"After verifying that this user had been issued a laptop, I gave her a call. Trying my best to be tactful, I informed her that our inventory indicated she had a laptop. Was that true?

"She said no, she had a desktop. I apologized for the error and hung up.

"The tech said he was sure he had upgraded her machine just months ago and, yes, she did have a laptop.

"So I walked up to her cubicle and walked slowly past. I could see as plain as day the laptop on her desk, connected to the docking station.

"I gently informed the user that she did have a laptop -- right there on her desk.

"She physically looked around wildly and said, 'Where?'

"It was connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, but it was mere inches from her keyboard, and had been for months. I'm so glad we invested the money in that one."

Sharky is sure you have a story. 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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