Urgent, redefined

Remote user submits a help-desk ticket over the weekend to get some software installed -- and it's flagged as urgent.


Anyone see a problem with this plan?

IT manager pilot fish is also a clinical psychologist, and he's worked out a way to piece together an electronic clinical records system for this large mental health center. Then his boss discovers the project.


Why we love last-millennium password policies

IT pilot fish goes to work at a large retailer's distribution center, where the policy is that passwords must be changed every 90 days -- which turns out to have unexpected consequences.


Can I get that in writing?

Growing company can't keep up with the need for help desk phone support staff, so the CTO institutes a new policy: All support requests must now come in by email. What could possible go wrong with that plan?


Experts, redefined

IT pilot fish is helping his aunt fix her PC because, well, that's where family members get their tech support, right? But this time, she suggests getting help -- from "the smart people."


Is that what they said about Y2k testing too?

New-to-the-company pilot fish's first assignment is to test a process that reboots a PC at midnight Saturday -- and after resetting the PC's clock, that's easy enough to do on Monday. But there's a hitch.


Otherwise it would have typed AHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

A receptionist -- with a reputation for being tech-challenged -- calls the help desk with a complaint: Her laptop is possessed and is typing out everything she's saying.


Great idea, boss!

This company is growing at a double-digit rate, and adding locations and employees at about the same clip, and the IT manager pilot fish has been pushing for a saner IT procurement process -- with no success.


Forgot your password? Good luck, chum

This retired pilot fish notices that nothing has shown up in his email in-box in almost 12 hours, which almost never happens. And when he tries his broadband provider's web mail access, he's got another problem.


And about those master and slave brake cylinders?

The owners of this family-owned vehicle rental business notice that its users are called "users." Wait, isn't that an illegal-drugs word?


But that's where I keep ALL my printouts

User opens a support ticket complaining that his printer won't print anything -- it just stopped. And for once, it's not a case of having run out of paper.


And that means six more weeks of code reviews

Pilot fish is tasked with writing a simple program to bill other agencies for computer resources. There's just one catch: His agency has decreed that everything must use a three-tiered programming model.


You can't do that!

It's the 1980s, and this public utility's engineering department has discovered it can use these newfangled PCs to automate filing permits for pipeline crossings. But someone is sure it won't work.


Why didn't you say that to begin with?

This software developer pilot fish is working on a relatively mundane system to handle freight bills, and it's coming along fine -- until he arrives at work to find his cube full of managers and accountants.


Because the higher-up is always right -- right?

The laser printer belonging to one of this organization's VPs isn't working -- and the problem lands in the lap of a pilot fish who doesn't know anything about the background of the issue.


Turns out finger-pointing can get VERY pointed

Something has gone very wrong in a multi-consultant gig, and now one consultancy is blaming another for creating the problem -- and for attempting to frame the first consultancy for causing the incident.


Why ARE those IT guys so slow, anyway?

This pilot fish gets an assignment to fix a broken electronic display at a big-box retail store, and he has two hours allotted to get it fixed. Not a problem -- except for the bureaucratic oversight.


Because every workaround has a workaround...

When this contract IT pilot fish mentors fellow employees in Unix, he always warns that if they abuse the tricks he shows them, he'll hunt them down. Most never do -- but one finally does.


Software acquisition -- the hard way

This tire manufacturer's small IT department has been looking for a help-desk ticketing system for the past few years. How hard could it be to solve this problem?


You don't drink coffee before you brew it, do you?

This manufacturing company has multiple locations, and the quickest way to get documents to all of them is to spool the documents to print remotely at each site. What could possibly go wrong?


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