Um, no

This pilot fish works late into Thursday evening so he can get out of the city early Friday to go on a long weekend camping trip.

“I took my cell phone with me, but not my laptop, as the whole point of getting back to nature is to take a break from the civilized world,” fish says.

“The phone rings at 3:40 a.m. It's a technical support rep for the software-as-a-service application the company uses.”

Fish knows what the call is about -- he sent in a support case Thursday night, because it usually takes three or four days to get a response. But the female tech on the other end of the line wants to walk fish through the solution right now, if he'll just log into the company online business account.

First fish points out that it's not quite four in the morning, and then he explains that he's on a camping holiday with no laptop. Can I set up a teleconference after the weekend? he asks.

Tech replies that she can't do that because, if the issue isn't resolved now, fish's case number will go to the back of the line, which has been growing exponentially -- no doubt due to the extreme time difference between the Philippines, where she's calling from, and North America, where most of the customers are located.

Fish groggily replies that he can't do anything about it at the moment, and anyway, even though his phone works this far out in the woods, his laptop would have no way of connecting to the Internet. Even if he had brought the laptop along, it would make no difference.

Tech thinks for a moment, then says, “You are in a park right now. Is it a big park?”

Yes, fish says, but —

“There must be someone in the park that will let you use their laptop for five minutes,” tech exclaims. “Most people in parks are quite friendly, and there are many hot spots there. I will call you back in 15 minutes and we will fix the problem.” Click!

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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