Shark Tank: That's one way to look at it

Overeager new manager promises his boss a 30-day schedule for a project to automate passwords on company's mainframe, midrange and desktop systems. We can't do that, desktop support pilot fish tells manager when he sees the project plan. "Have you confirmed that the mainframe and midrange support groups can do the product evaluation in the three days you've allotted?" fish asks. "No," says manager, "but if they don't meet the plan, then it'll be their fault it fails, not mine."

Systems administrator is describing problems he has hit while replacing a file server's failing hard drive. Senior sysadmin pilot fish interrupts to ask if he did a backup before starting. "No," says sysadmin. But why not? asks perplexed fish. "Well, the new drive I was installing might not have worked," says sysadmin. "What's the point of having a backup if you don't have a drive to put it on?"

Each time IT pilot fish goes to this remote site, it's a $150 cab ride. So fish finds a limo service that'll make the trip for $80 and suggests it to his boss, who sends the proposal upstream. A week later, boss passes along the verdict: "Upper management doesn't want IT workers showing up in nice limos."

mail system at this manufacturing plant goes down, so IT pilot fish calls vendor's support line. While fish is talking to support, vendor also sends out a local tech - who peers over fish's shoulder and says, "Man, you're way past anything I can help you in." Phone support guy overhears this comment and tells fish, "Yeah, we don't tell those technical support specialists much because we're afraid that they'll change something."

"My screen is black," user tells help desk pilot fish. "I think I need to replace a fuse." What's on the screen? fish asks. "It's telling me to replace the disk." Do you have a disk in the floppy drive? fish asks. "Omigod, yes!" user says. Remove it, then reboot, fish directs. "Omigod!" repeats user as the PC boots successfully. "No wonder they pay you guys so much!"

Share the wealth: You get a snazzy Shark shirt if we use your true tale of IT life. And check out the daily feed, browse the Sharkives and sign up for Shark Tank home delivery at

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon