And things were going along so well, too

Newly hired pilot fish is issued a computer by a member of the IT staff. "Great," says fish, "now I can load the programs to interface with our test equipment."

"No, you can't," IT guy tells fish. "You don't have permissions to load anything. But you can send the programs to us, and we can evaluate them and then install them for you if we find that they're OK."

IT guy goes on to tell fish the PC does have a full suite of office software installed. Great, grumbles fish -- now I have a computer incapable of doing what I need it to do most, but fine for writing letters and tracking budget forecasts.

Then the IT guy hands fish a slip of paper with his user ID and password. This login contains really obnoxious language, fish says. I'll need a new one.

Tough luck, says the IT guy -- that's the only one you're going to get. Then he turns on his heel and leaves.

"Fast forward three years," fish says. "I am called to my supervisor's office. It seems that they had been sending company e-mails to that obnoxiously-named account, informing me that my mailbox was too full."

Fish tells his boss that he never received the too-full message because he has never used the e-mail account.

Then he explains that he needed to use certain software to interface with the test equipment. IT wouldn't let him install it, so he bought his own laptop and has been using that to do his job for the past three years.

In fact, he explains, he has never used the computer with the obnoxious login except as a convenient place to stick Post-It notes.

"I was instructed that I needed to log in and clean out the e-mail bin," says fish.

"I walked out of my supervisor's office and the building and never returned."

Sharky's just amazed the spam took three years to fill up that in-box. Help keep my mailbox full: Send me your true tale of IT life at You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

Now you can post your own stories of IT ridiculousness at Shark Bait. Join today and vent your IT frustrations to people who've been there, done that.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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