Shark Tank: What Does It All Mean?

New help desk guy is still getting up to speed at supporting hundreds of different applications, so it's no surprise when he gets a little confused, reports a second-level communications-support pilot fish. "On a particularly busy day, I get the following work ticket from him," fish says. "It reads, 'User sent e-mail about VM not working. Am not familiar with that software. Called and left VM to clarify.'"

Oops!

This computer room's cooling system goes kaput, and junior operator pilot fish does everything she can to keep things cool until the repair guys arrive -- dragging in fans from the warehouse, cranking up the office air conditioning and opening all the security doors. Finally, fish calls her boss to say that the temperature seems to be steady at 78 degrees. "How do you know that?" boss asks. Fish: The system console says "temp 78." Boss: "That means temporary storage."

Nice Guy

Support pilot fish gets a call from a remote retail site: A PC is plugged in, user says, but it won't power up, and neither will the monitor. One 45-minute drive later, fish is tracing the power cord to the uninterruptible power supply. Turns out the PC is plugged in, but the UPS isn't. "The counter people said they'd heard beeping for the last two hours but didn't think anything of it," sighs fish. "I reached down and plugged the UPS in. To avoid making the counter clerks look stupid, I took the PC apart and cleaned it with compressed air."

Corrected

I can't log in from my office PC anymore, user tells pilot fish. The log-in works from other computers, and fish himself can log in from the suspect machine, so fish is puzzled. "Then I noticed a little flicker in the username field just as he hit Enter to send credentials to the server," fish says. "In a minute, I was able to confirm my suspicions: My colleague had installed a memory-resident spell checker that had determined that his username was a spelling error -- and was 'correcting' it before sending it on to the server."

D'oh!

E-mail server goes down, and panicked sales director calls IT pilot fish in desperation. "You have to get the e-mail fixed, because there is something I must tell my West Coast sales manager today!" We're working on it, fish says, but in the meantime, can't you telephone or fax the sales manager? Pause. "I would have thought of that, honest. Thanks, goodbye!"

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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