Shark tank

Think global, act loco

IT support team gets a call from a user who says that hyperlinks in the recently installed ERP system are no longer working. Support guys can’t even replicate the problem so it’s escalated to the continental-level help desk. That team can’t replicate the problem either, so it’s kicked up to global support. “After two minutes on the phone, the user owns up to running a pop-up blocker,” sighs fish. “After allowing pop-ups, he is overjoyed to have the issue corrected.”

Double up

User gets a new PC, and while IT pilot fish is setting it up, she notices that there are duplicate icons for some applications because the user has a roaming profile. Fish removes the doubles and delivers the PC. User: “How come I don’t have two e-mail icons anymore?” Fish: I was trying to clean up the desktop so it wasn’t so cluttered. You only need one icon to use e-mail. User: “I guess that’s OK. I only read one e-mail at a time anyway.”

Sticky problem

This sort-of-tech-savvy user is gone but not quite forgotten, says a pilot fish who had to clean up the mess. “He once forwarded all his colleagues’s e-mail to their pagers, quickly exceeding the pager quotas and rendering the pagers useless,” fish says. “After he left, one of his colleagues brought a PC to us that this guy had worked on. It was making some disturbing noises. ‘What had been done?’ we asked. A hard drive had been added. We popped the cover and found the source of the noise. Our buddy had indeed installed a second hard drive. And instead of using a mounting kit, he had hot-glued it to the chassis.”


IT manager pilot fish is called to a user’s office because a real-time data feed isn’t updating. The user is out of town, but others use his screen to follow operating trends. Why is the network cable unplugged? fish asks. Manager across the hall explains that he unplugged the “e-mail cable” so a visitor could read his mail – and didn’t plug it back in because the visitor might be back tomorrow. “I said the ‘e-mail cable’ is the network cable and should be kept plugged in,” says fish.


User stops support pilot fish in the hall and says, “My laptop won’t connect to the Internet at home anymore.” Fish: Did we configure the laptop for wireless? User: “I don’t know.” Who is your ISP? “I don’t know.” Did you set up your own wireless system at home? “I don’t know.” Hmm, thinks fish, then asks, “Did someone close by move recently?” User: “Yes, my upstairs neighbor.” Fish: “I think it’s time to move.”


Attorney calls support pilot fish to his office to “adjust my keyboard.” Lawyer is on the phone when fish arrives, so fish hits a few keys, but the keyboard seems fine. “He hung up and said the keyboard needed to be squared with the edge of his desk,” fish reports. ‘Can’t you move your own keyboard?’ I asked. He explained in a loud voice peppered with expletives that he billed at $500 an hour and didn’t have time to move a keyboard! I moved the keyboard.”

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