Shark Tank: Some Lead, Some Don't

Tech director decides to oversee the test of the data center's UPS. Notices are sent, the test window time is reached, and just as the network admin is about to pull the plug on the UPS, tech director flips the UPS's switch instead. "At the sudden silence in the server room, the tech director realized his error," reports a pilot fish on the scene. "He turned to the network admin and sighed, 'Just goes to show why you should never let management help.'"


University IT director has a brainstorm to stop students from downloading songs from the Internet: All dormitory networks will be capped at 100Kbit/sec. instead of 100Mbit/sec. "It certainly made downloading anything impossible for students," says an IT pilot fish there. "It also cut communications that controlled heating and cooling. And made the access card readers at the doors stop working.

And the parking lot access card readers. And the dining services computers. And he instituted the change Friday afternoon. The cap was lifted Monday morning."

No Frills

Users are very happy with a database maintenance program this pilot fish supports, and he comes up with a very practical enhancement: animated cursors to indicate during long-running operations that the program hasn't frozen. Boss's response: "No." But why? asks fish. "We only want to provide the basics," boss says. "We don't want to overdeliver."

Better Than Sex

Sysadmin pilot fish sends out a notice that one server will be down for maintenance over the weekend. "For two days I got a lot of receipts showing that my e-mail was deleted before being read," fish reports. "So I sent out the message again. Subject line: 'Found a wallet full of money in the parking lot!!!!' First line of my e-mail: 'Now that I have your attention...' This time, everyone read the message."

Managing Up

Pilot fish has installed new antivirus software everywhere except on two PCs: one at the company president's home and one at his vacation house. Prez has no trouble following fish's instructions for the PC at home, but a month later, fish gets a call from the vacation house. "I've tried and tried, and I can't find the files to install it," prez says. Let's go one step at a time, says fish. First, make sure the CD is in the CD drive. Pause. "Yeah, that would probably work," says prez. "I'll call back if I need anything else."

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

Answer Sharky's call. Send me your true tale of IT life at You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. And check out the daily feed, browse the Sharkives and sign up for Shark Tank home delivery at

Special Report

2006 Premier 100 IT Leaders

Stories in this report:

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

Bing’s AI chatbot came to work for me. I had to fire it.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon