It's upgrade time at this health care company, and the pilot fish in charge of making it happen at one site finds himself leading a small army.
"I had 10 contract techs jumping every time I snapped my fingers," says fish. "Deadlines were so tight, they squeaked if you so much as looked at the project plan.
"We were installing all new small-form-factor PCs for go-live, and one of the contractors was charged with unboxing PCs.
"I left the room to oversee some installs. When I returned an hour later, there were four 20-high stacks of PCs in the middle of the room."
Fish is about to ask, "Isn't that a little high?" But he never gets that far. As the young tech turns around, he nudges one of the stacks. It begins to teeter.
Tech leans to grab it, and his backside hits a second stack. Which topples into a third stack.
And they all come down.
"Out of 80 PCs we had unboxed, 37 of them were damaged, five beyond repair," fish reports. "Most were scratched or dinged but otherwise OK.
"After sorting out the mess, I went to find the contractor in question. I found him in the conference room, sobbing quietly with his face buried in his hands."
Turns out the tech has a new baby at home -- and a pretty good idea of what's going to happen to him after the damage he's caused.
But he's wrong. "Being a father myself, I decided to cascade the damaged PCs from site to site until they were 'lost in transit,' thus sparing his job," says fish.
"The reformed tech ended up being such a diligent worker that he was hired full time when the project ended.
"His other reward? I presented him with a functional PC I cobbled together out of parts from the five ruined machines -- and engraved the front panel with 'World's Greatest Dad.' "