Next time, draw him a map

Oh, THAT 3302!

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

Large factory complex where pilot fish has just signed up as a computer programmer has about 10,000 workers spread out over 100 or so buildings. Instead of names, the buildings are designated by four-digit numbers, but there’s no real pattern to help you find your way around the complex.

When his printer stops working, fish calls computer maintenance, and the supervisor asks him which building he’s in — and then tells fish, sorry, that’s out of our area; you have to call this number.

But the supervisor who answers that phone says much the same thing, giving fish the number he has already called.

So fish does call the first supervisor again and tells him what the second supervisor said. All right, says supervisor, what was that building number again? But he doesn’t seem to know the building by its number, so he asks fish to describe where my building is.

Says fish, “It’s the large, red-brick building on the hill above the production buildings.”

That brings on an awkward silence. Fish has described the plant’s main computer center to the supervisor of computer maintenance. Fish swears he could hear him blush over the phone.

The next day, a technician arrives and fixes the printer. Fish’s co-workers, used to these things taking a week or more, are flabbergasted. But fish doesn’t let on about what happened and only says vaguely, “I guess it’s all in how you ask.”

Sharky is easy to find. Just email your true tales of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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