Thermostat Wars: The Last Degree

Two co-workers in this IT department are locked in not-quite-mortal combat over one of the highest-stakes elements of their professional lives, reports a pilot fish on the scene: the office temperature.

"One was a petite lady in QA named Betty, who was constantly cold," fish says. "She wore a shawl and turned the thermostat up.

"The other was Fred, a big, burly programmer who -- despite wearing short sleeves -- was always hot. He sweated profusely and turned the thermostat down.

"Every day, they'd set the thermostat up, then down. Up and down.

"The rest of us were either slightly bemused or annoyed by the ongoing feud. We'd try to intercede and find a reasonable compromise. Over time, though, the two thermostat warriors became increasingly hostile towards each other. We went from bemused to concerned.

"Then one day, Betty approached me. 'I can't believe the nerve of Fred!' she said. 'He emailed me his resume and asked me if he could use me as a reference! I can't stand him, let alone give him any sort of a reference!'

"I asked, You'd like to get rid of him, right?

"'More than anything!' she replied, with her arms folded. She looked cold.

"Then give him a glowing recommendation, I advised her. If he gets hired by another company, he'll be out of here in two weeks.

"I could see a lightbulb go on over her head.

"And Fred gave his two weeks' notice at the end of the week. Problem solved!"

Sharky still has the same problem: Getting enough true tales of IT life. Send me yours at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt every time I use one. Comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

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