What a remarkable, um, coincidence

Consultant pilot fish gets a call from one of the companies he takes care of: The Internet is down, and fish soon concludes that it's a problem with the Internet provider.

"After contacting the ISP, I was informed that the company I was taking care of had a DHCP-issued address, not the stack of static IP addresses that was programmed into three outside-facing components," says fish.

"I had gone through this with the ISP a year earlier and thought it was resolved. After a double escalation, I still couldn't convince the tech that we had been using this certain stack of addresses for at least five years, and got to the point I was explaining my schooling and the fact they never mentioned the Internet working by magic."

That's when the tech tells fish that the ISP doesn't even own the addresses in the range in question.

Fish immediately does a lookup using an online tool and informs the tech that that the ISP certainly does own that range of addresses -- at least "according to the cloud."

After more than two hours of runaround, fish hangs up. Then he immediately calls back, using a different support number, and gets a different tech -- who soon comes to the conclusion that fish is right.

Unfortunately, the billing is wrong. That means fish will have to order up a new stack of static addresses.

That's something the previous tech had offered, but it's also something fish really doesn't want -- there's a lot of work that will be required to change the addressing on that outside-facing equipment.

But fish is now six hours into dealing with the problem, the day is getting late, and time is getting critical. He decides to bite the bullet.

"I said let's go ahead," fish reports, "with wheels spinning on my next hours' work in reconfiguring the devices.

"Then he started reading off my new address range.

"Yep, it was the same stack of addresses the company had been issued over five years ago. I thanked him, hung up and left the equipment programmed the way it was."

Sharky loves a happy ending. Or any ending, really, as long as it's attached to a true tale of IT life. Send me your story 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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