Shark Tank: Not What We Had in Mind

It's the 1990s, and this training director pilot fish orders a PC so his office can be the last one finally connected to the LAN. "Because of the way purchasing worked, I had separate requests for a computer system and a printer," fish says. "It was like Christmas morning the day I saw the printer box in the office. The feeling didn't last long, however. My boss, the HR manager, approved the purchase of the printer -- but denied the request for a computer."


This VP demands a high-end PC to show his tech-savviness. But he never actually turns it on, so support techs start using it as a supply dump, swapping out the VP's working components for items that break on other users' PCs. "A year later, he was let go," says IT director pilot fish. "New VP comes in and on the first day attempts to fire up the computer. I had to go over to explain what my staff had done. It got quite a chuckle out of everyone -- and a new desktop was ordered."

What a Surprise

User explains to support pilot fish that her CD-ROM drive was sticking so she sprayed it with WD-40. What? says astonished fish. You sprayed WD-40 into the CD-ROM drive? "Oh yes," user says. "But that hasn't fixed it."


This site's sysadmins decide to install an operating system service pack across the network -- but they don't tell users or the help desk. As the update slowly installs itself, users get impatient and call for help. "The operator at the help desk told them to just shut off the computer by holding the power button in for a few seconds," groans IT pilot fish on the scene. "Around 100 machines were powered off during the installation and wouldn't reboot. Techs had to go to every office to get them running again."

And the Problem Is What, Exactly?

Support pilot fish spots a help desk ticket he's glad he doesn't have to handle: "Floppy drive unable to read CD-ROM. Please fix ASAP!"

Yeah, That'll Help

Network admin pilot fish is setting up a new laptop when it picks up a wireless connection - which turns out to be from another company in the office complex. "I head over to give them a heads-up that they're broadcasting in the clear, with no authentication required," fish says. On the CIO's desk fish spots the wireless router, and he explains that, by using it, anyone can access the CIO's network. "OK," CIO says agreeably. "I'll turn down the power."

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Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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