And you thought YOUR IT director was a problem

It's a couple decades ago, and this network admin pilot fish works at a remote site for a big company with a new corporate IT director.

"He had no experience whatsoever in the industry -- his previous position was as a truck dispatcher," fish says. "But his qualifications included being the bowling partner of his next-door neighbor, who was the HR manager.

"Our new boss was constantly looking for faults and would bellow, 'I know you IT know-it-alls think you can pull one over on me, but I'll catch you!'"

One day fish's manager calls and asks fish to step into his office. There fish finds the IT director sitting in a chair and fuming.

"Why isn't my email coming up quicker?" he bellows at fish. What seems to be the problem? fish asks politely. IT director hitches up his pants and begins yelling, "I spent thousands of dollars to set up a fiber network between this place and our headquarters, and I should be able to access my email server much quicker than it is now. We have speed-of-light communications!"

Fish calmly explains that the fiber was just to connect wiring closets at the site, not to connect the remote site to HQ, which is several states away. Even if a direct fiber connection could be set up, it's unlikely the company could afford it, he points out.

IT director's face turns even redder as he splutters, "You're lying! You pocketed the money!"

Are you accusing me of theft? fish asks, still holding his temper. If you like, I can go get the work orders and the bills, and we can go to HR and contact legal services right now.

"At that point, my manager motioned to me to leave," says fish. As I was leaving, he was trying to calmly talk to the director.

"Later my manager came by and said our director spent the day making phone calls to see if the other remote sites had a fiber backbone to headquarters. He became more irritated when each site's network engineer told him that fiber just went between the wiring closets."

Send Sharky your story at the speed of light! Email 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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