Round and Round

This department head wants a presence on the corporate intranet pronto -- one for which a department staffer can control the links, even though no one on that staff knows HTML. Fish scrambles to set up a utility that will do the job and later checks the results. "The only link is titled 'Corporate Intranet,' " sighs fish. "That, of course, brings you right back to the home page from which the previous page was accessed!"


It's the early 1980s, and a business manager asks this programmer pilot fish to redesign a lengthy mainframe report so the summary page comes at the beginning, not the end. That will mean lots of work and twice the running time, fish points out -- but manager is adamant. "Then the light bulb went on," fish says. "Every time the report was run, I tore off the last page and stapled it to the front of the report. He was thrilled."

And Getting Better

This dot-com's application service provider goes bankrupt, and no consultant will touch the 30-day deadline to bring the apps in-house. So internal IT goes to work and squeaks in under the deadline. A year later, management opts to outsource again. How will we recover if the new ASP goes bust? IT pilot fish asks. "No problem," boss says. "You guys should be good at this now."

Security First

This user can't remember a critical password, so pilot fish runs through a series of common passwords to help jog his memory. "He finally remembers it and tells everyone in the room what the password is," fish reports. "Then he says, 'I should have remembered that one. It's also my ATM access code.' "

Thanks a Lot

It takes months, but programmer pilot fish reworks this data access program so all employees can use it, not just one secretary. But now the secretary says she's more buried than ever. "I'm getting five times the number of requests for reports," she says. "Users tell me they think the program is wonderful. But they still come to me because I can generate the reports more quickly than they can."

Quality Control

It's this pilot fish's first day on the job as a quality control analyst in the IT operations center. She boots up her workstation, and the splash screen proclaims the department's slogan: "Comitted to Excellence." Fish points out the misspelling to her boss. "Yeah," boss says, "close enough. Everybody knows what you mean."

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Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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