Next Thursday at the Latest

Manager making a trip overseas wants to take copies of all company resources -- manuals, forms, everything available -- so the remote office can use them too. On a Friday afternoon, 12 hours before her flight, she asks pilot fish to copy the entire contents of the server to a CD. But that's over 460GB of data, fish says. Blank look, so fish tries again: It would require creating about 900 CDs. "Oh, OK," says manager. "So, by Wednesday then?"


University pilot fish is supposed to install a software package on an Army system as part of a support contract. But it's a secure system -- fish can't access it, and the security-cleared people who do have access aren't allowed to copy software from an unsecured system into it. But fish has administrator privileges on a national lab's archive site, which the Army has declared "trustworthy." So fish copies the software to the archive, and the Army IT people copy it back to their secure system. Grumbles fish, "Bureaucracy at its best."


Database admin pilot fish runs the quarterly sales report as usual. But the assistant to the CEO demands that fish run it again: "The actual sales numbers don't match the projected numbers!"


After consultant pilot fish gets a network back up, he tells client he still needs to restore remote access. "Only one user uses that -- you!" client snaps. But if there's a problem, I won't have to drive all the way out to the site, fish says. "Oh, I see," client interrupts. "It's only a convenience for you!" Fish sighs, "After I explained that a two-minute problem can be fixed remotely in two minutes and he won't be charged for travel time, he calmed down."

Reality Check

All employees are required to pass an online test on new regulations -- but many haven't taken the quiz. Bosses come up with an idea to ensure compliance, which CIO runs past network manager pilot fish: "How easy is it to disable the network log-ons of employees who haven't taken the test?" Not hard, says fish, but how will they take the online test if they can't get on the network? CIO: "Good point."

Never Happened

It's a dumb question this user asks a help desk pilot fish, and she realizes that when fish tells her that the solution is to turn on the printer. "Did you get my name?" she asks. No, says fish -- and user quickly hangs up.

Feed the Shark! Send your true tale of IT life to You snag a snazzy Shark shirt if we use it. And check out the daily feed, browse the Sharkives and sign up for Shark Tank home delivery at

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

It’s time to break the ChatGPT habit
Shop Tech Products at Amazon