Time-Machine Tuesday: Get a room!

Automation, with time limits.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

This security pilot fish is a big believer in automated systems. And he’s very impressed when his company moves into new offices where the meeting rooms take the manual labor out of scheduling meetings.

“There are room wizards outside every door to assist in scheduling,” fish says. “And there’s full integration with Microsoft Exchange, so that your meeting information is accurate and timely and always shows the proper room.”

One of fish’s most important meetings is a committee meeting every month on the day after Patch Tuesday to consider how to handle that batch of Microsoft updates. It’s been a regular meeting for years, and after the move the new scheduling system seems to handle it fine.

That is, until one Wednesday. The patch committee has just started its work when another group shows up, claiming that it booked the room the day before.

Fish points out that they must be wrong — this particular room has been booked for this monthly meeting since the company moved. He checks his phone to verify that the room was booked — only to fine that Exchange canceled the room on his calendar. And didn’t send a notice. And didn’t cancel it on anyone else’s calendar. Says fish, “As far as we knew, we were golden!”

The patch committee quickly packs up and starts looking for a vacant meeting room. After much searching, fish and his cohorts find one and get to work.

And halfway through their meeting, yet another group shows up to claim the room for their meeting.

It isn't until later that fish solves the mystery of how the patch committee lost its room the first time.

“It seems Exchange has decided that you cannot book a room more than three months in advance,” fish grumbles. “You can book the meeting — you just can’t book the room. Ah, the beauty of automation!”

Beauty is in the eye of Sharky. So send me your true tale 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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