Never do now what you can put off till...whenever

Manager with a laptop travels to corporate HQ for a week of meetings with higher-ups there. But at noon on the first day, he calls this IT pilot fish for help.

"He said, 'My VPN isn't working. I can't get logged in. I am set up on the Wi-Fi here and VPN prompts me for a user name and password, but then it scrolls and doesn't let me in,'" fish reports.

"I verified that his user name was set up for remote login, and I know that if VPN prompts for user name and password, he has Internet connectivity and the correct profile for VPN and he's able to get to our VPN server. Next big issue would be password problems. I pulled up the tool that lets me see bad password attempts for his account, but there had been none in over a week.

"OK, I told him, I think it must be your user name. Can you clear out your user name and retype it?

"He said, 'I don't have my computer with me now, but I will do that on the next break. I haven't been able to connect from home for quite a while either. Even when I connect up with a cable from home that doesn't help.'

"Try wiping out your user name and call me back if that doesn't work, I replied, filtering out all of the comments that would endanger my job. Who would take a laptop that hasn't been able to VPN on a road trip without having it checked out?

"Well, never mind -- I know the answer to that."

Answer Sharky's call. 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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