Shark Tank: There's Always an Explanation

"The bottom half of all my printouts are blurry," user complains to support pilot fish. He orders a replacement drum for the printer, but it doesn't help. Neither does a new printer. So he goes to her desk and asks her to print something. "As the paper starts to emerge," says fish, "she yanks it out of the printer and says, 'See what I mean?' "


User asks IT pi-lot fish to replace this small company's backup software with a version that works with recordable CDs. But why? "The old solution worked perfectly," says fish, "But it stored the daily backup on a removable hard drive, and the secretary took it home at night. She told me the hard disk weighed too much in her handbag."

Notes, Shmotes, I Want Lotus!

CEO tells his IT director that he wants to change from Novell GroupWise to Lotus because he's more familiar with Lotus. "Not wanting to question the CEO, we dutifully installed a new Notes server and trained 500 users," says pilot fish. Then it's time to train the CEO -- who asks, "Where are the rest of the planner functions?" Says fish, "That's when we realized that all the CEO really wanted was Lotus Organizer on his desktop."

Cut That Out!

"The boss's computer isn't working," frantic receptionist tells IT pilot fish. "Every time he tries to do something, it talks to him in your voice." Puzzled fish checks it out, and sure enough, it's his voice. "Then I remembered: When I was setting it up, I had recorded the message, 'Hey, cut that out!' and set it as the alarm for critical errors," fish says. "My boss had managed to mess up the computer to the point that everything he did was a critical error."


This Army hospital commander likes voice-recognition software for dictating notes, so he assigns three IT staffers to get it working. "One was from the Indian subcontinent, one from the Far East and one, though U.S.-born, had a strong regional accent," reports a pilot fish. "They took turns reading the training paragraphs to the system. For some reason, it never did seem to work right."

Lost in Time

User calls the help desk pilot fish to ask if something is wrong with the mail server. "My e-mails are coming in with the next week's date," she tells fish. "This is March 31, isn't it?" No, says fish, it's April 7. Grumbles fish, "That's when she realized she forgot to change her calendar."

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Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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