How not to make money in IT, RFID edition

It's just past Y2k, and this IT pilot fish is working for an e-commerce startup on the ERP team.

"The attached warehouse management system supported RF guns for nearly all tasks on the shop floor," says fish. "The warehouse was undergoing some construction, so it was bare of any equipment or shelving.

"As a result, the RFID system providers had only the blueprints of the warehouse at hand, which also showed the future racks and shelves.

"One of the providers, after reviewing the blueprints and seeing a 3-D simulation of the future warehouse processes, submitted a quote for 6 RF antenna base stations on a fixed bid.

"Having studied physics and knowing what metal structures can do to electromagnetic waves, I pointed out that the shelves would be blocking the RF signals. But the provider couldn't be convinced -- and their bid was accepted.

"And once the shelves are in place? As I predicted, when the handful of RF antennas are installed, most of the warehouse is not covered. In the end, the provider had to install about 50 antenna base stations -- on a fixed bid for 6."

Help keep Sharky's warehouse stocked with stories. Send me your true tale of IT life at You'll get a stylish 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.

Computerworld's IT Salary Survey 2017 results
Shop Tech Products at Amazon