Sharky

Questions that Sharky gets a lot

Q: What's a pilot fish?

A: There are two answers to that question. One is the Mother Nature version: Pilot fish are small fish that swim just ahead of sharks. When the shark changes direction, so do the pilot fish. When you watch underwater video of it, it looks like the idea to change direction occurred simultaneously to shark and pilot fish.

Thing is, sharks go pretty much anywhere they want, eating pretty much whatever they want. They lunge and tear and snatch, but in so doing, leave plenty of smorgasbord for the nimble pilot fish.

The IT version: A pilot fish is someone who swims with the sharks of enterprise IT -- and lives to tell the tale. Just like in nature, a moment's inattention could end the pilot fish's career. That's life at the reef.

Q: Are all the Sharky stories true?

A: Yes, as best we can determine.

Q: Where do the Sharky tales come from?

A: From readers. Sharky just reads and rewrites and basks in the reflected glory of you, our readers. It is as that famous fish-friendly philosopher Spinoza said, "He that can carp in the most eloquent or acute manner at the weakness of the human mind is held by his fellows as almost divine."

Q: Do I have to write my story in Sharky-ese?

A: No. Not at all. Just be sure to give us details. What happened, to whom, what he said, what she said, how it all worked out. If Sharky likes your tale of perfidy, heroism or just plain weirdness at your IT shop, he will supply his particular brand of Shark snark.

Q: I've got a really funny story, but I could get fired if my old trout of a boss found out I told you. How confidential is what I send to Sharky?

A: We don't publish names: yours, your boss's, your trout's, your company's. We try to file off the serial numbers, though there's no absolute guarantee that someone who lived through the incident won't recognize himself. Our aim is to share the outrageous, knee-slapping, milk-squirting-out-your-nose funny tales that abound in the IT world, not to get you fired. That would not be funny.

Q: How do I get each new Shark Tank tale emailed to me?

Easy. Subscribe to the newsletter.

Q: Where are the Sharkives?

Tales of old can be found in Sharky's archive.

Wayback Wednesday: Fun with numbers

Wayback Wednesday: Fun with numbers

And with upper management, too.

But you all seemed so happy with my progress

But you all seemed so happy with my progress

You should have been specific about what you wanted.

Memory-Lane Monday: We prefer the term ‘custom-built’

Memory-Lane Monday: We prefer the term ‘custom-built’

It has that rough-hewn look.

Flashback Friday: NOW they get some edge?

Flashback Friday: NOW they get some edge?

Giving people just what they want can backfire.

Wayback Wednesday: Four-letter words

Wayback Wednesday: Four-letter words

But making the list would have been so much fun!

That’s a very strange church

That’s a very strange church

Let’s go to the video, shall we?

Memory-Lane Monday: The more things change …

Memory-Lane Monday: The more things change …

Not even an ‘Oops, never mind’?

Flashback Friday: Failover? Well, he got the first half.

Flashback Friday: Failover? Well, he got the first half.

Spectacularly, as a matter of fact.

Wayback Wednesday: Of course not

Wayback Wednesday: Of course not

But someone did.

Mystery solved

Mystery solved

It’s all so deterministic.

Memory-Lane Monday: Did they say anything about an offer you couldn’t refuse?

Memory-Lane Monday: Did they say anything about an offer you couldn’t refuse?

But they certainly clarified exactly what they wanted.

Flashback Friday: You can’t give that stuff away

Flashback Friday: You can’t give that stuff away

At least, not more than once.

Wayback Wednesday: Maybe they weren’t looking for fast

Wayback Wednesday: Maybe they weren’t looking for fast

It all seems so familiar.

Insert bathroom humor here

Insert bathroom humor here

We’re refraining from lots of bad puns in this headline!

Memory-Lane Monday: Never let a software guy near hardware

Memory-Lane Monday: Never let a software guy near hardware

It could take you a long time to cool off.

Flashback Friday: It was like this when I got here

Flashback Friday: It was like this when I got here

Let’s give her points for at least suspecting there might be a better way.

Wayback Wednesday: Slow down there, buddy

Wayback Wednesday: Slow down there, buddy

When you inherited that problem, did you think you were supposed to fix it?

This business has gone to the dogs

This business has gone to the dogs

A simple visit to the office goes very wrong.

Memory-Lane Monday: Glad it was just a quick one

Memory-Lane Monday: Glad it was just a quick one

If you can’t remember asking for this …

Flashback Friday: Smart, but not THAT smart

Flashback Friday: Smart, but not THAT smart

Not to mention those tiny keyboards …

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