Why we love users, hard hat edition

Consultant pilot fish gets a gig working on the servers at this steel mill -- and as usual, that's not where the job ends.

"Being an IT guy, I became the go-to person for any questions related to computers -- including desktop applications and personal purchases," says fish.

It turns out that many of the office workers at the mill got their start on the production floor. But injuries are a common occurrence, and when they were hurt, they moved into desk jobs instead of going out on disability.

And while they're not very computer literate -- and more than a little salty in their language -- fish find them to be very nice guys. They like him too, and love to regale fish with stories of the mill's glory days and exploits from when they were younger.

They also appreciate fish's help. Case in point: A guy who's having problems with some of his reporting spreadsheets. Fish fixes the problems, but also provides a bit of training along the way, so he won't have to struggle so much with the software.

"He wanted to know what he could do for me in return," fish says. "Since I was on the clock, nothing was needed -- I was happy to help.

"Just before I went on vacation for my wedding and honeymoon, he invited me over to his office. On arrival, he presented me with two decked-out hard hats: his and hers, with the tag line Computaro ergo sum -- 'I compute, therefore I am.'

"My fiancee got a kick out of the hard hats and placed them in a position of honor on the gift table. It certainly pays to be nice to people!"

Sharky wants a hard hat that says Historia vera de vita IT -- but I'd be just as happy to get your true tale of IT life. Send it to me 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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