Shark tank

The wrong man for the job

Pilot fish is in a division office and needs the Internet proxy server hard-rebooted. But it’s after 5 p.m., and the only person he can reach at corporate is the IT director. “He said he hard-booted the machine, but my terminal service connection did not end,” says fish. “I asked him to push the power button again. He said he did. I asked him which button he was pushing. He told me the round, glowing blue one in the middle of the server that said ‘Dell.’ I had to walk him through removing the front bezel and pressing the proper power button.”

Too late!

This program manager can’t grasp the idea of gathering requirements at the start of a project. “At a project kickoff meeting, which he had neglected to actually invite the customer to, we had a lot of discussion around what the software we were creating was supposed to do,” says pilot fish on the team. “I suggested putting together a requirements teleconference with the customer to clarify their ideas and goals.” PM’s response? “I was told we were already behind schedule and didn’t have time to meet with the customer.”

Hard problem

Help desk pilot fish gets a call from a group of programmers about a printer problem that’s stumping them. “The programmers said they had checked network connections, the print queue, the print server configuration, all away to the power supply and paper feed,” fish reports. “They said the printer needs replacing. A support tech is sent to investigate. They were missing the ink cartridge.”

Why me?

Third-tier support pilot fish gets a call at 2 a.m. User: “I’m sorry to wake you up, but System X is broken. Fish (who knows System X is important but also knows just enough about it to spell its name): Why did you call me? User: “I wanted to know if I should call Wally” — the engineer who works on System X. Fish: Do you realize what you just asked? User: “Oops, sorry!”

Just talk

“Does my boss have a voice recorder on his laptop?” user asks IT pilot fish at a manufacturing plant. “Whenever I walk into his office, he hits a key on his keyboard and then begins talking to me. I think he’s recording everything I say.” Fish explains that most laptops have built-in microphones, but with the lid closed, it likely wouldn’t pick up much. “That seemed to make him happy, and he went on his way,” fish says. “But it made me wonder what he was saying.”

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