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.

Flashback Friday: She’s right — that doesn’t work

Flashback Friday: She’s right — that doesn’t work

Let’s start at the beginning.

Wayback Wednesday: Drawn to it

Wayback Wednesday: Drawn to it

Few problems are so easily identified.

Time-Machine Tuesday: For better or worse

Time-Machine Tuesday: For better or worse

Sometimes it takes two to make a problem.

Memory-Lane Monday: The cruelest password

Memory-Lane Monday: The cruelest password

Maybe she should check her dictionary again.

Flashback Friday: Snow job

Flashback Friday: Snow job

But you said the labor would be free!

Wayback Wednesday: The joy of do-it-yourself IT

Wayback Wednesday: The joy of do-it-yourself IT

You have no one to blame except …

Top secret

Top secret

When you said, ‘Door,’ you could have been more specific.

Memory-Lane Monday: Why isn’t everyone looking happy to hear that?

Memory-Lane Monday: Why isn’t everyone looking happy to hear that?

You couldn’t have tried that yesterday?

Flashback Friday: They’re due someone’s undying gratitude

Flashback Friday: They’re due someone’s undying gratitude

For making the impossible possible.

Wayback Wednesday: So much for that executive-suite mystique

Wayback Wednesday: So much for that executive-suite mystique

We’re all business up here!

Shifty

Shifty

The left hand doesn’t know …

Memory-Lane Monday: Maybe someone should have asked

Memory-Lane Monday: Maybe someone should have asked

Why did anyone think that was a good idea?

Flashback Friday: Hero for a day

Flashback Friday: Hero for a day

The name’s familiar but I can’t place anything else.

Wayback Wednesday: Details, details

Wayback Wednesday: Details, details

Installation was a breeze.

Always ask the obvious first

Always ask the obvious first

For example: Why would a wireless printer come with so many wires?

Memory-Lane Monday: Maybe if he knew the name of the file, he wouldn’t have deleted it

Memory-Lane Monday: Maybe if he knew the name of the file, he wouldn’t have deleted it

Sometimes you’ve just got to keep asking users questions.

Flashback Friday: If only he had known it was impossible

Flashback Friday: If only he had known it was impossible

We’d still be doing it the hard way?

Wayback Wednesday: Still not done

Wayback Wednesday: Still not done

And maybe never will be.

Printer not found

Printer not found

You’ll be amazed at the things you’ll see when you go up on the roof.

Memory-Lane Monday: PEBKAC — but VERY close to the keyboard

Memory-Lane Monday: PEBKAC — but VERY close to the keyboard

This solution has nothing to do with a dress code.

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