Not Quite Right

This company's new integrated messaging system lets users click on in-box items to listen to phone messages through the speakers on their PCs. "This worked great for people who had their PCs on top of their desks," says a pilot fish working there. "But most people don't. On Day 1, more than one person was seen bending over and straining to hear his voice messages coming from under his desk."

Not Quite Enough

During surgery, this surgeon always forgets to name the other doctors present when he dictates the operative report to the surgical recorder. "So to get the residents to show up on the report, his secretary was printing it out and typing in the names with a typewriter," says an IT support pilot fish. When the year-end accreditation report is run, none of the residents are credited for their cases with this surgeon. "He could not understand why," fish says. "We had to explain that just typing the name of the resident on the paper copy does not get this information into the database."

Not Quite Safe

Pilot fish's company uses e-mail to remind laptop users to download virus updates from a shared network drive. "But they have to connect to the network to do that," fish says. "I try to point out this problem to a sysadmin guy, but he says he's too busy right now because he's off to clean the boss's laptop, which was just infected by a virus from someone else's laptop on the network."

Not Quite Dead

Frantic user grabs pilot fish on the way out the door, saying her laptop's floppy drive is dead. "Not wanting to go back and unlock our support room, I opened my laptop bag and exchanged drives with her," fish says. But for fish, the drive works fine. "I kept using it until the next user reported a problem," fish says. "Again, I exchanged devices, and everyone was happy. I haven't ordered a replacement drive in the past year, and our users are tickled over the rapid turnaround we give them on their hardware problems."

Not Quite Clear On the Concept

It's the mid-1980s, and this maker of IBM 3270-compatible terminals is rolling out a new line at a big sales meeting. But five minutes into the marketing VP's spiel, the terminals start going black, one by one. The presentation stops while the frantic VP calls engineering. Sighs a pilot fish on the scene, "Turns out this was the first time anyone had heard of the new screen-saver feature we designed into the product."

Save the Shark! Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You get a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. And don't forget to check out the daily feed, browse the Sharkives and sign up for Shark Tank home delivery at computerworld.com/sharky.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
Shop Tech Products at Amazon