Shark Tank: Doing the Best They Can

Outside sales guy is promoted to manager, so he'll need a docking station for his laptop. Sysadmin pilot fish gives sales guy the manual in advance, so he'll know how to use it; then, during the sales guy's last road trip, fish installs everything. The following Monday, fish has a phone message: "I can't connect the laptop to the docking station. This @#$%! thing doesn't work!" But when fish arrives an hour later, it's fine. "The laptop is connected and I find the user manual sitting on the desk," says fish. "He didn't get it working until he read the user manual, as prescribed."

Um, Right

Senior programmer phones support pilot fish to ask if there's any spare hardware to repair a PC at his site. "I have lots of old PCs we can scavenge parts out of," fish says, "so I ask him what model his PC is, and he reads out the model name. However, we have two generations of that model of PC: one with a small 'space saving' case, the other a larger, traditional-size unit. I ask him, Is it a big case or small case? He's silent for a moment, then says, 'Well, it's in capitals.'"

Don't Panic!

User calls help desk to report a gold message that says "thank you" in the lower left corner of her screen. "Believing it to be a virus, I advised her to not touch anything and transferred her to our software support team," says pilot fish who got the call. "The tech took over the call and shadowed the user's desktop but didn't see the message. After asking the user about it, she understood. Once the yellow Post-it note that someone had taped on her monitor was removed, she was able to view her desktop normally."

Aren't They All?

This university pilot fish is buttonholed by a faculty member whose hard drive is crashing intermittently. "I asked how big his hard drive was," says fish. "The gentleman thought about it for a moment, then placed his hands six inches apart and said, 'About this big.'"

Nightmare

Database admin pilot fish is showing new-hire help desk guy the server room. See this red button under the plastic flip cover? fish says. Do not press it. Which new hire proceeds to do - and down goes a custom financial app. Why did you do that? sputters fish. "Oh, just turn the power back on," new guy says, "nothing important is running." Sighs fish, "After a few more incidents, he was gone -- as he told everyone - to pursue his dream job as a mainframe guru."

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Special Report

Bold Predictions for 2006

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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