If it's got wires -- or doesn't -- talk to IT, OK?

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This company is getting a major upgrade to its heating and air conditioning system, complete with wireless thermostats everywhere, according to the IT director pilot fish who should be in the loop.

But he isn't. "Well, of course I wasn't invited to any of the meetings for this project," grumbles fish. "Why should I be? It's an HVAC system, not a computer!"

And fish is not only out of the loop, he also happens to be out of the office on medical leave when he gets a frantic text from the project manager for the HVAC work, asking for the password to the company's secure wireless network.

Turns out she's with the vendor, and the password she thought was correct isn't working.

Fish texts back that he needs to know the exact name of the wireless system they're trying to get into. He knows that the real secure wireless channel doesn't broadcast its name, so that can't be what she's looking for.

Some 15 minutes later, fish finally gets a response text. She says she needs the password for a wireless access point whose name fish recognizes -- it belongs to the company next door.

Fish's next text tells her that, and asks what floor of the building she's on. Her response: 6th floor.

"I called her and explained that there is no wireless on the sixth floor," fish says. "It's a storage floor, and the two offices there have Ethernet cabling.

"I received a terse 'It would have been nice to know that,' followed by the end-of-call beep.

"I could only think to myself, 'It would have been nice to have been asked.'"

Hey, Sharky always asks nicely for your true tales of IT life. So send me your stories at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt every time I use one. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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