Shark Tank: Try, try again

Pilot fish is in charge if installing a major computer system at a department store. Since the store is in another state, fish wants to make sure everything is ready when he gets there to start setting up the equipment.

"We had sent specific guidelines governing the environment that the computer area was to have, including power, isolated grounding and air-conditioning specs," fish says. "But when I arrived to begin installation, the room was literally an inch deep in dust and dirt.

"Worse yet, the temperature in the room was in the high 80s. The air conditioning that was supposed to be in and running was just being quoted and the contractor stated that it would be two weeks until installation."

Fish also observes that power and a proper ground are absent. He calls his office and explains the situation to his boss, and the installation is delayed for two weeks.

Two weeks later, fish calls to make sure the room is really ready this time. We're set to go, customer tells him, so fish makes the trip.

Once on-site, fish discovers that the inch-thick dust has been swept out, but the floor is still filthy. The air conditioning is in, but the condensation pan is hanging from the ceiling directly over the computer equipment.

And the power? Just a square electrical box with wires hanging out of it. Building engineer insists that the Hubble socket fish specified is unavailable anywhere in town.

Fish thumbs through the local phone book, finds an electrical supply company two blocks away, walks down, buys the connector himself and walks back.

Now where's the isolated electrical ground wire to tie our equipment to? fish asks building engineer. Engineer shows fish a large braided cable in the corner. The cable comes through a hole in the ceiling and disappears through another hole in the floor.

"Where does that go?" fish asks, pointing to the hole in the floor.

To a set of four-foot copper rods in the basement, engineer tells him.

"And where does that go?" fish asks, pointing at the hole in the ceiling.

To the lightning rods on the roof, engineer says.

Sighs fish, "We postponed the installation again."

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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