Why we love managers

This IT pilot fish is responsible for a whole list of programs, but one monthly report is among the least troublesome -- or at least it should be.

"It was a summary list of how many times our customer service reps had encountered each type of data error in that month," says fish.

"It wasn't much of a problem because it never had any problems -- until one day when we decided to get copies of it, to check and see if the 'What to do when an error happens' documentation needed to be clarified."

That's a real possibility because fish's IT shop has both made some revisions to the manual and added some new error numbers to the system.

But when fish's group asks each of the five data centers for copies of their latest version of the report, they only receive four.

They call and ask where the missing report is. Nobody at the fifth data center can find it, even though the operator responsible for handling the report swears he filed the last several months' worth exactly where they're supposed to go.

So a search for the reports is launched, and eventually the data center staffers find that one of the customer service supervisors -- having somehow discovered that this report exists -- has been pulling the report out of the filing cabinet every month and taking it back to his office.

Turns out the supervisor has been using the report to browbeat members of his customer service team, blaming them for all the errors made over the entire state for the previous month.

"Apparently he routinely threatened to fire his entire staff and replace them with people who could 'do a better job,'" fish says.

"We never were able to find out if he was replaced with a supervisor who could do a better job. We do know he got royally reamed for going into file cabinets he was not supposed to have access to -- as was the person in that office who had just handed over the reports even though the supervisor wasn't on the distribution list."

Sharky promises not to mishandle your true tale of IT life. Send it to me at sharky@computerworld.com, and I'll file off the identifying marks and send you 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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