Whatever it stands for, you’re deep in it

As acronyms go, it WAS easy to remember.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

Pilot fish is tasked with evaluating help desk systems, and incidentally with giving the chosen system a name. When he submits his report on various off-the-shelf systems and the in-house option, he titles it “System for Helpful Information Tracking,” just for fun. His thought is that his manager will catch that the name forms an unfortunate acronym, they’ll have a laugh, and then they’ll give it a new name before it starts up the line in the rather straitlaced insurance company they work for.

But manager doesn’t catch it and passes the report along before fish can stop by his office to have that expected laugh. Suddenly the little joke doesn’t seem so funny to fish, but there’s nothing he can do to stop the report’s progress through the ranks without calling attention to what is sure to be seen as a tasteless and unacceptable attempt at humor (which even fish wouldn’t argue against). Finally the report comes back from a very senior manager, which means it got through many levels of managers and vice presidents.

This manager is an actuary, so he does tend to look at things closely, and he probably lacks a sense of humor. His note is succinct, though: “I am not amused.”

Sharky is famous for his sense of humor. I’ll prove it when you send me your true tales of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

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