You Get What You Measure

Network techs at this manufacturer are surprised when they get a poor evaluation -- the networks are running fine with few user complaints. "That's the problem," says IT pilot fish. "Their metric is how many trouble tickets they resolve and how quickly." So techs take to randomly unplugging a hub, waiting for trouble tickets to come in, then restarting the hub. Reports fish, "They were rated 'excellent' on their next review."


"My screen is electrifying the table and shocking me," user tells support pilot fish. "Touch the keyboard, and you'll see." Fish does, and feels a small vibration. "That isn't vibration, that's electric current," user insists. "I know what an electric current feels like." Looking around, fish spots a rarely used IBM Selectric typewriter at the other end of the wooden table. She turns it off -- and when the vibration stops, user asks, "Do you think it was the typewriter that was shocking me?"


When an error brings down this company's Web site shopping-cart engine on a Friday afternoon, pilot fish can't restore the corrupted file before tracking down the boss, who has already left. Is the entire site down? irritated boss asks once he's finally located. "We're not spending money on overtime to restore one @#$%! file!" Sighs fish, "We got the file restored at the end of the day Monday. Based on the Web access logs, at least $17,200 wasn't spent with us over the weekend because of the outage."

It Gains Something In Translation

Boss's fast new CD burner needs the right media, so tech pilot fish asks the office secretary to order some recordable CDs rated at 40X. "Imagine my surprise later in the day," fish groans, "to hear the water-cooler discussion about my trying to acquire 40 X-rated CDs for my department!"

Very Fault-Tolerant Indeed

Users are complaining that this branch office's network connection is too slow, so IT pilot fish checks into the cost of a T1 line. "Thinking I can reduce latency by staying on the same network as the main office, I call the network admin there," says fish. Who was the provider you used for the second T1 line you installed for fault tolerance? fish asks -- and is stunned to learn that both T1 lines come from the same Internet service provider that's currently "recovering from" bankruptcy. Sighs fish, "The IT manager didn't want to have to look at two bills each month."

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Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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