Not the kind of multitasking we're looking for

Pilot fish gets a programming assignment at a federal agency that requires a security clearance -- and to his surprise, there's no "leper colony" for new hires whose clearances haven't yet come through.

"You were assigned a desk with the group you would be working with, so everyone could get to know one another," says fish. "They trusted the employees with clearances to not 'share' with the guy who didn't have an agency computer yet.

"They also had an extra unsecured network that everyone could use for browsing the Internet. You could bring in your own laptop, but it had to be tested and certified by the agency to be malware-free. After that, you were welcome to browse cat videos all day until your clearances came through."

But while fish is willing to collect his paycheck and wait for his background check to complete, another new guy gets bored with cat videos and comes up with a creative way to pass the time during the waiting period.

First, he accepts another job offer.

Then he convinces his boss at the second job to let him telecommute.

After that, he shows up at the agency every day with his personal laptop, and spends his time working on the other job remotely so he can collect both paychecks.

And somehow he manages to keep that going for more than a month -- with neither employer's management the wiser.

"That went on until two things sort of collided," fish says. "The second job insisted that his telecommuting grace period had expired and he needed to report in person, and the people doing the background check for the agency discovered his second employer.

"While what he had done wasn't technically illegal, it did raise some questions about his judgment and integrity. He was encouraged to report to the other job."

Who needs cat videos? Send Sharky your story! Email your true tale of IT life to me at You'll snag a snazzy 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.

Get your daily dose of out-takes from the IT Theater of the Absurd delivered directly to your Inbox. Subscribe now to the Daily Shark Newsletter.



Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon