Welcome, er, back

Big insurance company hires contract programmer to help with the workload in IT -- and she's a catastrophe. "The boss thinks things have improved, but the contractor is nothing but trouble, and staff members work extra hard to make up for her lack of technical ability," says a pilot fish on the scene. Budget time rolls around, the contract position is cut, and everyone is relieved -- until a few months pass and the contractor shows up again. "When we asked why, the boss replied, 'More work will get done with more workers,'" fish says. "We told the boss the contractor has no technical savvy, and it only took a few hours for her to prove the point. While she was away, we got new PCs. She turned her PC on, but the monitor was black. She asked for help to figure out what was wrong. A staff member looked at the monitor, then reached around and plugged it in. Sure glad we got this one back."

Let's Try That Again

This computer room was never designed to house all the equipment that's stuffed into it, says a pilot fish on the scene. "The guy who routinely checks the equipment in this room was on vacation for a week, so I would wander through to make sure things were OK," fish says. "I submitted a trouble ticket one day because the temperature in one of the rows had climbed to 90 degrees. The first response by the supervisor was, 'It's supposed to be like that.' His final resolution was, 'Put fan in row; temperature is now 87.'"

That Didn't Do It

Company hires a new sales VP, and he gets his predecessor's phone number, but the phone system is updated to display the new VP's name on the internal Caller ID display. "The help desk received an e-mail asking for Caller ID to display the new VP's name," reports a pilot fish on the line. "The user was informed that it was changed two weeks ago -- to which the user replied, 'Tuesday, an outside salesperson calling the new VP said the old VP's name was on the phone display.' Apparently, he didn't understand that the sales guy's contact list on the cell phone was showing the old VP's name."

Picture This

Help desk pilot fish receives an e-mail from an administrative assistant complaining that an employee named Moe isn't in the Outlook global address list. Fish checks: Sure enough, Moe is there. So he sends back an e-mail and attaches a screenshot showing Moe on the list. Admin's reply: "I should have taken a snapshot of him missing."

Picture Sharky behind a grill -- that's how I'll be spending my long weekend. Meanwhile, send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it.

Check out Sharky's blog, browse the Sharkives and sign up for Shark Tank home delivery at computerworld.com/sharky.

Do you love Shark Tank?

Then you might like Shark Bait. Dive in and dish the dirt with like-minded IT pros: sharkbait.computerworld.com. If Sharky uses it, you'll snag a snazzy Shark Tank shirt!

Have a similar experience? Then add your comments to the daily Shark Tank blog!

Join Shark Bait

If you love Shark Tank, you'll have fun with Shark Bait, a place where you can really tear apart IT. Submit your own tech-related "baits" for points, or rate other baits. Leave comments, build your profile, and try to become one of the "big fish." Visit the Shark Bait site to get started.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon