Shark Tank: Monday, Monday

After a series of thefts, users at this company are required to lock up laptops every night. But when this pilot fish unlocks his desk drawer one Monday morning, his heart sinks: no laptop. "I must have left the laptop out, and now it was a goner," says fish. "Security was notified, and the local police, my boss and IT." Later that morning, a co-worker asks about the LCD projector stored in a cabinet — was it stolen too? "I turned red when I remembered that I'd locked up my laptop in that cabinet on the Friday before, since I didn't have my desk key with me," fish says. "With my tail between my legs, I began calling security, my boss, the hardware guys...."

No Change

New-hire student worker is getting set up on this company's network. "We have a 'must change' password rule — you can't use the same password until two others have been used," says a pilot fish on the scene. "The worker was re-entering her password repeatedly, and her supervisor asked if she was having trouble. 'Oh no,' she replied, 'my intro instructor told us to just enter three passwords in a row. That way, you'll always have the same one and will not have to remember any others.'"

No Words

Whenever this manufacturing plant's T1 line goes down — killing the network and long-distance phone calls — IT manager pilot fish hears the same questions from the plant's general manager: "Have you called so-and-so? When will this be fixed? Are you on top of this?" But this time, when the GM yells, "Have you found the problem yet?" fish just points out the window of the GM's corner office — at the maintenance crew that has just dug a trench through the buried T1 line.

No Clue

This federal court implements a new electronic filing system, and the law offices that use the system have some trouble adjusting. "The temporary passwords we sent are case-sensitive, and they're causing the filers all kinds of problems," says a help desk pilot fish there. And then there are users who just don't get it: "I know the passwords are case-sensitive," one user asks fish in an e-mail. "But are they also font- and size-sensitive?"

No Way

"On Monday afternoon, my manager admonished to me to get several service requests completed by this Friday," reports this IT pilot fish. "I added up the time estimates for them. Total: 84 hours. Sorry, dude, I'm not working 21-hour days."

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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