Shark Tank: My boss, the genius

IT services manager with no real technical background decides to cut costs by putting UPSes only on network servers and pulling them off all workstations. "So a week later, during another all-too-frequent power hit, all the servers stay up," says sysadmin pilot fish. "But no one can access them, since all admin functions are performed from the workstations that no longer have UPS protection."

Network manager turns thumbs down on IT pilot fish's proposal calling for redundant ATM carriers. "It's never the carriers that break down; it's always the local loop," boss says. Less than a week later, a trans-Atlantic cable is cut and puts company's entire Eurasian operations out of touch. "And when his boss asks why there was no redundancy, he states that his staff never suggested it," says fish.

On an overseas business trip, boss sends IT pilot fish an e-mail with strange instructions: Open the attachment, click on the box and enlarge it. Puzzled, fish opens the attachment to find a tiny box. "I drag the box out and start to see text appearing. Then his logic dawned on me," says fish. "He was trying to keep his attachment as small as possible."

Work orders are backing up for this company's desktop support technicians, reports a pilot fish - there's regularly a month's worth in the queue. That's too much, says IT manager, so he comes up with a policy that will trim the queues without hiring more staff: "All work orders older than three weeks will be deleted from the system."

CEO takes it upon himself to, um, motivate the troops: "All my friends are billionaires, and I'm only a millionaire. It's embarrassing. I want you to make me a billionaire!" We're writing pizza-delivery software, pilot fish points out. "Wait, I've got an idea," says boss. "On the Web order form, write, 'Smell the pizza.' "

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Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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