Flashback Friday: Huh, you know what really bothers me?

The perils of being considerate.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

Junior IT pilot fish gets simple duties like taking care of network and node issues that occur at this manufacturing plant.

One afternoon, he gets the word that one node cannot connect to the network-attached storage unit and retrieve files, so he takes his netbook to the NAT, checks the Cat 5 cable and sees that it too is not getting a connection on the network.

No other computers seem to have problems, so fish concludes the trouble is with the cable. He replaces the cable’s connectors, and reattaches the cable to a different port on the switch.

Problem solved — right?

Next morning, when fish arrives at work, he has a new trouble ticket: Another computer from the same segment has the same issue as the day before.

Fish offers the use of his own workstation to the stranded user so his shift can get to work. User angrily replies that he doesn’t have time to walk to the front office and make the printouts. Fish should just fix the darn thing.

Left alone, fish does a little more troubleshooting and changes his diagnosis: The switch is going bad and needs replacing. One thing that helps him come to the new conclusion: That same user, much calmer now, returns and explains why his temper had been so frayed. “I’d been having a problem with connecting to the NAS for the past three days.”

Fish: Why didn't you call me then?

User: “You were already working on that other computer and its network problem. I didn’t want to bother you with mine.”

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