Virtually impossible

User calls this help desk pilot fish complaining that he can't connect to the company network via VPN.

"The user was full of bluster, telling us how many millions of dollars of sales will be lost if he isn't able to connect in and send a vital e-mail," says fish.

"We tried many, many different debugging techniques, to no avail. Finally, one of the techs came up with the right question: 'What network are you connecting to?'

"Turns out the user was on a cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean. We have a 500ms timeout on successful key negotiation, so satellites are out of the question.

"I jumped on the call to relieve the tech who was trying to stifle his laughter -- and offered the user payment on his next mai tai."

Sharky's waiting for a vital e-mail telling me 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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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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