Shark Tank: But such a deal!

It's the early 1990s, and this developer pilot fish needs to make sure the communications software he's working on will function with most commonly used modems. "We prepared a list of the top dozen brands and sent the request to the corporate IT purchasing department," fish says. "A few weeks later, we received 12 identical modems. When we asked why, Purchasing proudly replied, 'We were able to save more than $100 over your original request by getting a volume discount on the same model!' "


Senior programmer writes the code to lock users out of a custom accounting application after three failed log-in tries. It goes live, a user gets locked out -- and the help desk learns there's no way to unlock an account. "There is no unlock utility, because the programmer wasn't asked to create one," sighs pilot fish who watched it all. "The programmer has to go into a table and delete one of the unsuccessful attempt entries."

That's How Hard

The shipping guy is on vacation, and an exec needs a new PC right away. How hard can shipping a PC be? "I put the computer in an empty box and fill it with the first thing I find: Styrofoam peanuts," says this pilot fish. The box is transported to the exec's office, and fish opens it. "All of a sudden, thanks to static electricity, it's like Christmas. Styrofoam peanuts explode into the air and attach themselves to everything -- the computer, furniture, walls, the executive and the secretary. It would have been awkward except that all three of us were laughing so hard."

Time Saver

This bank employee sends and receives lots of faxes every day, so an IT pilot fish is asked to install a fax machine next to his desk. But an hour after he gets it up and running, fish spots the employee waiting in line at the old fax machine. Isn't the new machine working? fish asks him. "I didn't try it," employee admits. "It doesn't have all the speed dials loaded, and I didn't want to waste time typing in the phone number."

Resume Truth

This town's new chief administrative officer claims in his resume that as city manager in a smaller town, he managed his community's IT efforts. Funny thing, says a pilot fish who's skeptical about the new boss: "So did his deputy city manager, who also works for us now. IT must have required massive intervention there, as it was outsourced. I guess those pesky consultants need a firm hand."

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Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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