How to be a team player, master-class division

IT pilot fish is on a vacation deer-hunting trip out in the wilds of the Pennsylvania woods when he hears a telltale sound: his mobile phone ringing.

"I was in a really weak cell zone, but the call from my boss did come through," fish says. "I answered even though this was officially a vacation day -- hey, I'm a team player.

"It seems there was a major production problem. We discussed some of the facts and symptoms, but it was obviously not something that I could diagnose remotely."

Then come the words fish is really dreading: "When can you get here?"

Fish stalls for a moment as he thinks about the situation. Then he points out to his boss that it will take at least an hour to hike back to his car -- five miles over hilly terrain.

Then it's another two hours to drive home, at least if traffic is light -- so, realistically, two and a half hours. Add a few minutes at home to drop off gear and get changed, then fish's normal 30-minute commute to the office, and it'll be more than four hours before fish can be onsite.

There's silence on the phone for a moment. Then the boss asks, "Why can't you come straight into the office? That'll save 30 to 60 minutes easy."

Fish reminds the boss of HR's policy about firearms at work and the fact that fish is dressed in full hunting camo. I don't think they'd want me walking around the office dressed like that, he says.

"After a momentary pause, I heard those wonderful words: 'Well then, don't worry about it -- I'll get Barney to look into it,'" says fish.

"I made some appropriate noises along the lines of 'Are you sure? I could get started now...' I hope my lack of disappointment wasn't audible."

Sharky doesn't want any vacation calls from the boss -- just a story from you. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. 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.

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