Throwback Thursday: It seemed as if you would be quicker

Help is just a phone call away.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

This IT pilot fish works the night shift at a manufacturing plant as the on-site plant floor support tech — which is definitely not user support. That’s on-site during the day but off-site during the night shift.

One night, fish gets a call from a supervisor named Barney, who complains that his email isn’t working. Fish says Barney needs to call the help desk and gives him the extension. To which Barney says that he needs his email to do his job.

All the more reason to call the help desk, says fish. They’re very good at troubleshooting that email program, and I don’t know anything about it.

But he does say that if the help desk can’t help, Barney can call fish back.

And 30 minutes later, Barney does just that, saying he needs his email to work.

Fish offers to use NetMeeting to try to help him, but clicking on Start, then Run, and then typing “conf” is all too technical for Barney.

Two hours later, Barney’s boss — a superintendent — calls to inform fish that Barney’s email isn’t working. Fish asks if Barney has called the help desk. “I don’t know,” super says. “I’ll get back to you.”

One hour later, Barney calls again to tell fish that his email still isn’t working.

Fish: Have you called the help desk?

Barney: “I need my email to do my job!”

Fish: I’ll be right down.

“I walked the quarter-mile to his desk — no exaggeration,” sighs fish. “I asked some simple troubleshooting questions and fired up NetMeeting. I used his desk phone to call the help desk and gave the offsite tech the IP address, and the tech fixed the problem.

“From the time I sat down to problem resolution was less than five minutes.”

It won’t take much longer than that to send Sharky your true tales of IT life at You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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