Dawn of the Dead ... line

The IT pilot fish is called on to fix everything in this office, from the microwave to the fire alarm. So when the fax machine starts sending faxes with big black streaks, fish installs a new machine. But the same problem returns immediately -- and this time, fish notices it happens only late in the morning on some days. Then fish notices that the sun shines directly on the machine in the late morning. "I closed the blind," says fish. "Problem solved."

The Exorcist

Trash is piling up in this pilot fish's cube, so he asks facilities guy why. Turns out the non-English-speaking cleaning ladies won't go near that cubicle because a threatening, demonic voice comes out of it at odd times. That's when fish realizes his PC is on all night, and whenever e-mail arrives, a Klingon voice announces, "Captain! Incoming message!" "I changed my theme to something less vocal," says fish. "The facilities guy assured the janitorial staff that the cube had been depossessed, and my cube started getting cleaned again."

Poltergeist

"My mouse is opening and closing programs on its own," user at a remote site tells help desk. Pilot fish tests the PC across the network and, sure enough, the pointer moves, though user swears she's not touching the mouse. Much troubleshooting later, fish hops a plane to the site. "I find that the two users in this office replaced their company-provided keyboards and mice with unapproved cordless setups," he sighs. "They were both set to the default frequency. A quick turn of the frequency dial cleared up the problem."

Friday the ... er, 31st

User complains she's having trouble entering a date in a database. Database support staffer tries, but after the date is entered, he can't move the cursor out of the field. Frustrated, he asks pilot fish to enter the date into the table manually. That's when fish explains why he won't: "The date they wanted to enter was June 31."

Trick or Treat

When this user's PC suddenly starts making a loud, continuous sound, she calls support pilot fish. "I was initially thinking it was a thermal alarm, but the fans and temperature were fine," says fish. "But when I started the word processor, the cursor took off across the screen, filling it with spaces." Under the space bar, fish finds a big chunk of candy bar. "Then I turned the keyboard over," he sighs, "and shook what looked like a complete candy bar out of it."

It's no trick. Treat Sharky to your truly terrifying tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You score a scary Shark shirt if I use it. And 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.

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