Well, sure, when you put it THAT way...

In this company, IT reports directly to the head of Finance -- which is why a pilot fish is called in one day to explain why he's spending $20 on power strips instead of getting $5 models.

"The next day, maintenance was working on lights in an office area and put 220 volts through the wall outlets," says fish. "I am told users saw fire shoot from the outlets!

"I didn't have enough power strips in stock for replacements, and had to call my sales rep, who did a great job of finding 20 in the area and bringing them to me within two hours.

"And one quick purchase order later, we had a cart rolling down the hallway with an IT staffer saying, 'Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!' and the users traded all their dead power strips for new ones.

"Everything on my $20 strips still worked -- all our PCs were fine. Those power strips had scorch marks on them where they committed suicide to save the equipment plugged into them. But we lost the copier, the fax machine, the coffee pot and some radios.

"I went back to Finance with the list of dead equipment that had to be replaced -- and said, 'This is why I spend $20 on a power strip!'"

Got budget-crazy bosses? Tell Sharky about it. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. I'll file off the identifying marks, and you'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

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