Just put yourself in the user's place -- literally

Soon after the customer service staff moves to a new office, one rep calls IT to complain that her PC is making an unbearable, high-pitched noise. But why can't this pilot fish hear it?


Who needs those itty bitty fields, anyhow?

This project involves statistical analysis of some massive government-collected data files -- so big that kicking unneeded fields out of the working database is a priority. So what are the best fields to get rid of?


Think of it as getting laid off in slow motion

It's not long after Y2k, and the big company where this IT pilot fish works has just been swallowed by an even larger competitor. How long will it take for the developers to be on the street?


It's the stupid economy -- er, the economy, stupid

It's not that long ago, the economy is in lousy shape, and this pilot fish has landed a job with a small IT vendor back in his hometown -- but one with some peculiar practices.


'Important government projects,' redefined

User working for a public agency reports that his PC is having some odd problems, and when this IT pilot fish gets the job of fixing it, it doesn't take long for him to spot the problem.


You DID want to get rid of that loud beep, right?

This company plans to use handheld barcode scanners to read water meters, and the development unit has impressive specs, an even more impressive price -- and a loud, annoying beep.


Not the kind of prevention we had in mind, but...

This data center is protected by a Halon fire-suppression system that's set off by smoke and heat sensors -- or by a big red button on the wall, What could go wrong with that?


We're from Corporate IT and we're here to help

There's a reason this special business unit doesn't have much to do with its parent corporattion's central IT department -- and it's about to get a reminder of what that reason is.


Forget PCs -- let's have more of these kits!

It's the early 1990s, and this regional retail chain's IT staff is beginning to consider how PCs could be used in the stores. But the boss's reaction is 'Over my dead body!'


Time to add a new step to 'the usual process'?

User loses his company phone between the seats of his car, and when he fishes it out, he can't unlock it -- and why isn't the IT help desk solving this problem?


Why we love users, hard hat edition

Consultant pilot fish gets a gig working on the servers at this steel mill and, as usual, the job doesn't end with what the job description says -- but neither do the benefits.


Wanna bet that's still in place today?

The order-packing area in this warehouse has terminals, printers, power strips -- and a lot of wires exposed to the adjacent aisle where forklifts pass by carrying pallets. What could possibly go wrong?


Yeah, we ALL love to get help from THAT IT guy...

These state-government IT auditors need their own server, and they figure the easiest way to get is to beef up a stock machine with RAID and extra memory. Just one problem: They get help from their IT guy.


The I word

Pilot fish is hired to create an intranet for this manufacturing business, and there's one critical requirement he's given when he takes the job: He can't call it by its name.


Because THAT'S the kind of boss we really need!

This IT pilot fish works for a big museum, and he's just finishing up some maintenance on a PC when the secretary for a museum executive asks him for help with a few government regulations.


The World's Greatest Programmer

This Visual Basic 6 application has been running a factory's entire shop floor for 15 years, even though the engineer who wrote it had no formal programming training. What's his secret?


No good deed goes unpunished

There's a new receptionist at the chiropractor's office when this pilot fish arrives for his appointment -- and fish notices she has a tattoo that appears to be a series of binary numbers that spell something out.


But it looked a LOT better in the budget request

This software company owns its market, and has a separate, well-funded development team for each deep-pocketed customer. So why has the IT support budget dried up a few months into the year?


Can you read me now?

This IT pilot fish is part of a widely distributed work force, but there's a problem with some conference-call meetings: He often either can't hear or can't understand what's being said.


Why we love bureaucracy (and outsourcing)

This California city's data center has had an alert system for high heat and subfloor water for a decade. So why is the police department suddenly telling IT that it needs to cough up the fee for a permit?


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