You try to be nice, and where does it get you?

This pilot fish returns from a two-week trip and walks into an IT department meeting where the IT director is complaining that she hasn't been able to get e-mail on her laptop for three days.

"Since no one on staff could fix it, she wanted to know how to proceed," fish says.

"I interjected that I had not taken a look at it yet and didn't like to be included in a rant when I haven't had the chance to rectify something.

"She ended the meeting right there and asked me to come to her office and take a look."

Fish heads to her office along with his manager, walks in the door -- and spots the trouble almost immediately.

But fish knows his manager is one of the people who had failed to fix the problem. Fish doesn't want to show him up -- but he doesn't want to leave the problem unsolved.

I have an idea, fish tells the bosses. But I need a few minutes to grab some equipment from my office.

They agree.

Five minutes later, fish is back -- and as he expected, they've stepped out for coffee. He quickly makes the repair, and by the time they return, fish is watching the director's mailbox filling up.

Director demands to know how he fixed it. Fish tries to dodge, explaining that it's technical, and that he'll show his manager so he can explain it to her.

"They both pressed me to fess up what I had fixed in a few minutes that the rest of the department hadn't resolved in days," says fish.

"Seventeen IT people hadn't noticed the wrong dongle was shoved in the PCMCIA slot.

"I just happened to have the correct dongle and wanted to help them save face, but they wouldn't let me."

Sharky will help you save face by filing the identifying marks off your true tale of IT life. Send it to me at You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

Now you can post your own stories of IT ridiculousness at Shark Bait. Join today and vent your IT frustrations to people who've been there, done that.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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