It's the 1990s, and this pilot fish is the IT director for an Internet service provider.
"I often needed to order new desktop equipment for tech support, operations and others," fish says. "We had a good relationship with an excellent local hardware provider, a mom-and-pop business that provided prompt and outstandingly responsive service. Everybody was happy.
"Then we got a new Finance guy. A couple months went by, and one afternoon I was informed that our latest shipment of new equipment was on the dock -- but the delivery driver said it would all go back on the truck unless he got a cashier's check for the full invoice amount. Huh?
"I called the proprietors. They told me that their last net 30 invoice to us was now nearly 60 days out, and they really couldn't afford to loan us interest-free money like that. I agreed and spoke briefly with the CTO, and an hour later a check was cut and all was well -- for the moment.
"I had The Discussion with the Finance guy, and he made it clear to me that net 60 to net 90 was the new net 30, that everybody nowadays did this, and our vendors would just have to get used to it. Hmm...
"A few weeks later, he sent me the list of equipment purchases needed to upgrade his Finance and Accounting departments to the latest hardware and software. I nodded, smiled and returned the paperwork to him with an estimated installation date eleven months out.
"Hey, I said, net 330 is the new net 90. You'll just have to get used to it.
"After a bit of upper-level rattling and banging, we resumed paying our vendors on time."
Sharky delivers true tales of IT life, fresh every weekday. Send me your story at firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.
Get your daily dose of out-takes from the IT Theater of the Absurd delivered directly to your Inbox. Subscribe now to the Daily Shark Newsletter.