Hey, it's a time of miracles, right?

Worried user tells this pilot fish that there are marks on her CRT screen that won't go away.

"She told me this very quietly, because in the same quad as my cube the IT boss and the other IT tech were standing, both of whom were not the most pleasant of persons," fish says. "Anyhow, we quietly went over to her desk."

Once there, user shows fish the cleaning fluid and cloth she used to try to remove the marks.

She also shows fish another bottle of a stronger cleaner, and a heavier cloth. And a bottle of light bleach and a brush. And several other possible cleaners the user has tried for removing the dirt, including toothbrushes, paper towels, tissues and toilet paper, all of which have been used in various combinations.

Eventually, user shows fish the "dirt." It seems that when a certain application is reduced from being full-screen to running in a window, four dirty marks become visible right below the window's border.

Fish asks user to minimize everything, so the screen just displays the user's new wallpaper: a holiday image of three kings on camels, following a star.

And when fish restores the window, just the camel hoofs are still visible below the window border.

"It took about 15 minutes of minimizing and restoring the window, and moving the window around, before the user understood what the 'dirt' actually was," says fish. "Once comprehension struck, her eyes lit up. Then there was a sudden look of 'oops' -- and a very quick effort to hide the cleaning materials.

"How the screen managed to survive her cleaning attempts, I will never know..."

All Sharky wants for the holidays is your true tale of IT life. Send it to me 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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