Maybe he just kept getting eased up the ladder?

It's early in the morning at a software company when this technical writer pilot fish is approached by a senior employee -- and he needs help.

"Apparently he wasn't able to install some software on his laptop," says fish. "I walked down to his cube and clicked the installer -- and sure enough, it failed to install, displaying some error message.

"I tried clearing the cache memory, rebooting the system, going through the usual rigmarole one follows on Windows when installation fails. Finally I copied the error message and Googled for it, got a solution for the error, followed the instructions provided and succeeded in installing the software.

"Nothing surprising about that, right? Except for one thing: The colleague who approached me for help was our IT manager.

"I understood that it was pretty early in the morning and his team had yet to come in, so he came to me for help. What I couldn't understand was, why couldn't he have found the solution himself? With his seniority, he should have gone through this kind of situation hundreds of times.

"Over the next few months, I ended up helping him out on another few occasions. But it wasn't long before many others -- higher up in the hierarchy -- realized his 'competence' and he was eased out of the company."

Sharky can't Google to find true tales of IT life -- they have to come from you. So send me your story 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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