Why sometimes we even love the boss's boss

This support pilot fish's division oversees technology for several college campuses. "We received an email from a supervisor at one remote campus, complaining that the document camera did not work in a classroom," says fish. "Several attempts were made to get more information to no avail.

"I made a special trip to resolve the issue, as the email stated it was urgent. All tested fine."

Two days later, fish is told it's not working again. Again, he tries to determine exactly what the issue is -- the email just says it's "broke." No response. Another special trip and all works fine. Once again, the supervisor can't be troubled to show fish the problem.

A few days after that, supervisor emails with the same issue again, but this time she cc's fish's boss's boss. Fish clicks reply-all and explains that he's made two trips with little information, only to find the camera working fine.

And this time he finally gets a response: Every time we go to use it, it is dark, like black dark, supervisor reports.

"I questioned if they removed the lens cap," fish says. "I was informed that they were not idiots, and received a scathing email from my her for suggesting such a remedial thing."

Boss's boss asks that fish and the supervisor meet in the room with the problem camera, and that she show fish exactly what it's doing -- and asks fish to take another tech for a second opinion.

Fish schedules the meeting. Supervisor turns on the camera and says, See what I mean? you obviously don't know what you are doing, you suck as a tech...

After several minutes of the supervisor ranting and belittling him, fish walks over, removes the lens cap and throws it in the trash basket. Is that working satisfactorily now? he asks. She is speechless.

Boss's boss insists that fish and the other tech meet with him when they get back. We have several hundred dollars invested in this with travel and man-hours, he says. What was the issue and why did it take so long to resolve?

"I told him how she belittled us and how we watched her set it up," fish says. "I explained that I always followed the written procedure my bosses had put in place that were provided next to the camera. The difference was that she failed to remove the lens cap.

"Result: We had a policy change. We now remove and dispose of all lens caps on document cameras.

"And all the tech support costs were billed to her budget, due to not following directions."

Sharky's directions are simple: Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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