An idle mind is the devil's Photoshop

Pilot fish is hired by this company to develop a simple database system to track clients and match them with doctors.

"The system itself was finished fairly quickly, and I was asked to write a training manual," says fish.

"The company was willing to keep me on and the pay was good, so I developed the manual, and on the front cover I was instructed to put a picture of the manager of the HR department, sitting at his desk while looking at the main screen of the application."

Fish takes a photo of the HR manager and sets up the front cover in Photoshop, and then submits it for approval.

And for the next three months, fish is dragged into weekly meetings where the big topic of conversation is that picture. Could fish enhance the image? Could he move the monitor over to highlight the fact that the application was being used?

Naturally, every new request for an "enhancements" is just an attempt by one more person to leave their mark on the project. They're all a complete waste of time -- but fish is getting paid handsomely, since he has nothing else to work on.

One day, with boredom setting in just a little too deeply, fish gets an idea. He fires up Photoshop and carefully decorates the HR manager's left hand in the picture.

"It was resting on his desk in the foreground," fish says. "I added very small letters on each finger so it would spell 'Thug Life.' Then I waited for the next meeting. No one noticed!

"The following week I added events to his desk calendar, which was also displayed -- 'Ballerina lesson,' 'Feed employees in dungeon,' and so on. Nobody mentioned a thing. I added fairies to his plants, added a coffee mug with a skull and crossbones floating -- nothing!

"Finally, after eight months, I left for another job. To the best of my knowledge they are still meeting about the cover photo."

Don't let Sharky sit idle. 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.

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.

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
Windows 10 annoyances and solutions
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.