And at 80, standing on your head won't work either

Pilot fish with a side business helping out home users with their IT problems gets a call from a panicked elderly customer: She's trying to set a new new background image and something has gone terribly wrong.


Not certified, but very possibly certifiable

A client of this consultant pilot fish complains that his token-ring Novell network has gotten really, really slow. How slow? A print job submitted on Monday would spit pages out over the next two or three days.


Highlighting, redefined

The company where this sysadmin works has a carefully crafted process for any application changes -- and some people want to make sure they're very specific about the details.


Well, that's one way to make IT a profit center

This electrical engineer pilot fish arrives at a power plant to check the systems, and discovers there's software that needs to be installed on a laptop. Fish has the software with him -- but there's a problem.


Probably someone too young to have ever used a fax

This business rewires its offices to put voice and data jacks at every spot that might conceivably need them -- but one one department's all-in-one fax/copier/scanner/printer just can't get incoming faxes now.


Why don't they just DESIGN those buttons that way?

It's long ago in a gentler age, and this bored computer-room operator has to watch the big printers churn out reports and change paper when they need it. What could possibly complicate that?


Success, redefined

In the early days of the Internet, this organization's traveling sales reps log on when they can and download days' worth of data. And then, with key people on vacation, it all suddenly stops working.


And all this was on speaker phone, naturally?

This networking pilot fish is at his desk working on the virtual server environment when he gets a call from the CIO -- who's in a meeting with a vendor and wants to know "what our LDAP server is."


You're, um, very very very very very very welcome

This pilot fish gets a message from the boss labeled HIGH IMPORTANCE, so he knows every word demands his attention -- right?


Maybe they wanted it locked to keep you in?

The marketing department is hosting a big customer party at this site, and warns sysadmin to make sure the computer room is secure. But at 3 p.m. on party day, everything suddenly goes dark.


But isn't a cloud just a storm waiting to happen?

Bigwig at this company decides that security has become a critical concern, so he pushes to prioritize all security initiatives throughout the company. But the cloud? That he's not so sure about.


No, honest, this one really IS a hardware problem

Project team is rolling out a long-delayed operating system upgrade for this organization -- which means if a computer has had its operating system replaced, then any problem gets blamed on that.


Keep your love notes on the status display, bub!

This IT pilot fish and his wife both work from home, which has the advantage of letting them do those little things that keep them close -- propeller-head style.


You can't just NOT have an email address, can you?

This big company is self-insured, and administers health insurance plans both for its employees and some external customers. But someone isn't clear on how -- or how not -- to include email contact info.


Like the train, it goes around and comes around

This U.S. consultant working in the London office finds himself crammed on a rush hour train next to three Londoners who begin to rant about those stupid, rude, boorish Yanks.


Besides, we know who to forward the complaints to

This pilot fish's organization is getting ready to undergo a cybersecurity inspection when the security manager discovers that there's a small problem -- on every single workstation.


With a little work you could get dozens from that!

At this government agency, the contract for PC support changes hands, and ends up with an outsourcer with a fixation on trouble tickets.


But WAY classier than Post-Its, right?

This pilot fish has used monthly desk calendars at work for years to track what she's worked on each day. But somehow she never looked at the sections in the back -- like the one designed to destroy IT security.


But thanks for asking!

This IT pilot fish works at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where the threat level for mandatory furloughs is once again rising.


How hard can it be?

After three decades as a IT consultant, this pilot leaves his long-time employer to start his own company -- and discovers just what kind of client behavior he's been shielded from for all those years.


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