That would explain it

This pilot fish is pretty new to the help desk when he gets a call from a user who can't connect to the corporate VPN from home.

"He was using one of our laptops, so I went through the usual troubleshooting steps, and determined that it was the Internet connection," says fish.

But the user insists that can't be. He swears that the other computers in his house can access the Internet fine -- the trouble must be in the lousy laptop the company has issued to him.

Fish finally convinces him to actually check one of the other PCs. Surprise! No Internet.

A little more diagnostic work turns up the fact that the laptop is getting an IP address from the home router, and the wireless signal is good. Fish suggests that the user check the cable modem.

The line is silent for a minute or two. Then the user returns.

"The cable modem is out, and the TV is all fuzzy," user says. "And I saw my wife out back with the hedge clippers."

Sighs fish, "Maybe our laptops aren't that bad after all."

Sharky uses a scalpel, not hedge clippers, to carefully remove identifying information from each true tale of IT life. Send me yours at I'll send you a stylish 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 © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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