Just our way of saying hello

It's several Decembers ago, and this IT contractor pilot fish is set to start a new job at a big company as a SQL reporting specialist.

"I got word that I would be hired around the 16th, but we had to wait for the purchase order to go through before I could start," says fish.

"It finally came through on the morning of the Thursday before Christmas, and I had to drive to the facility some 50 miles away that afternoon to get my ID badge created, because the badge office wasn't going to be open on Friday or the week between Christmas and New Year's Day."

Which is when fish's first day at the new job falls, naturally.

Fish's family has plans for a get-together with relatives in New York state that week, but the new gig means a change in plans: Fish's wife and younger son head for New York, while fish and his older son stay in town.

On the appointed day, fish gets to the office -- and the place is like a ghost town. There's another contractor who's also starting that day, plus their supervisor and maybe one or two other employees, in an office area that usually has around 50 staffers.

Supervisor leads fish and his co-worker to the receiving area to get their laptops. They find monitors, keyboards and mice -- but no laptops. So instead of setting up their workstations, they spend their first day reading a 20-page document about their new department over and over.

Next day comes, and there are still no laptops to be found. At about 4 p.m., supervisor stops by to explain that the laptops probably won't arrive until the following week.

"I asked if there was any reason for me to come in for the rest of the week, since I figured I was only there to make money for the contracting agency," fish says. "My supervisor agreed and said I didn't have to come in until after New Year's Day.

"On the way home that day, I called my older son and told him, 'We're going to New York.'"

Sharky's staying right here and waiting for your true tale of IT life. Send it to me at sharky@computerworld.com, 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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