Shark Tank: Cult of the cable

Company shuts down the remote office where this user pilot fish works, so from now on he's working from home. That's not a problem except that when fish sets up the scanner he's inherited from the old office's secretary, he discovers it's missing a USB cable.

Fish knows the equipment was packed up by someone from the IT department. And he knows it once had a cable, because the secretary used the scanner regularly. But now there's a scanner, a power cord --and no cable.

Still, that's hardly a crisis. Next time he's at the main office for training, fish stops by IT to ask for a cable. The one I need is just like that, fish says, pointing to a cable a nearby IT guy is holding. Can I have that one?

"Sure, no problem," IT guy says. "But then when you get a chance, go out and buy another and mail it to me so we can replenish our stock."

Actually, you owe me one, fish argues. When you packed up my office, you mistakenly held on to something I needed.

But the IT guy won't budge, and fish decides it's easier to buy a cable and expense it than go through the rigmarole of borrowing, buying and mailing. Fish leaves the IT office shaking his head.

But when he tells a friend the story, she has her own tale.

"Remember the laptop my company replaced six months ago?" she tells fish. "IT never came by and took it back. They called me this morning looking for it, and I packaged it with its associated paraphernalia and left it out on the table for them.

"I was on a conference call this afternoon, and the IT guy came in, opened the box, removed the Ethernet cable and walked out.

"I'm thinking the IT departments of our two different companies are in cahoots, trying to confuse us."

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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