Shark Tank

Unsafe assumptions

New retail manager calls pilot fish to complain that the cash register software at his store is constantly crashing. What were you doing when it crashed? fish asks. “It was too slow, so I started hitting the Escape key to speed it up, and something came up on the screen, and I clicked Yes, and the program crashed,” says manager. Fish: Didn’t you read the message asking if you wanted to quit the program before you clicked Yes? Manager: “I don’t have time for that. Can’t you make it so it doesn’t do that?”


Irate VP demands to know why data center power failed one Saturday. “He asks why expensive countermeasures — UPS and diesel generator — failed to protect the data center,” says on-scene pilot fish. “After not being able to determine a cause, IT reviews the security video. A person is seen entering the air conditioning room at the precise time the outage occurs. It was the VP. He thought the building was too warm, so he flipped what he thought was the breaker for the A/C — but it was the main breaker for the data center.”

Too trusting

This pilot fish enforces his company’s strict policy on noncompany IT equipment: It must be checked over for viruses and spyware before being connected to the network. “I have found numerous infected PCs from users and vendors and dropped their connection,” fish says. “But today, the IT director had six consultants in. Three brought the network to a halt. They’re IT guys; I didn’t think they would be infected, so I didn’t look at the PCs. I removed a total of 300 spyware items.”

Not quite

Support pilot fish is troubleshooting a problem for a sales guy who’s working from home, but the remote-control session is responding very slowly. “On my screen, I could see he was connected via dial-up,” says fish. “He said he had DSL installed just last month but then added that it didn’t seem much faster. Turns out he set up the DSL modem per the phone company’s instructions — then kept dialing in as usual, assuming that DSL somehow just made his dial-up connection faster!”

Really new

After a long delay, this remote site converts to the corporate system. IT pilot fish knows some users are going to have trouble adjusting, but one sales guy’s remark to a customer catches him off-guard: “I’m sorry, but we just switched to this new system, and it doesn’t work like the old one. It won’t let me ship you something until it exists.”

My name is my name

A user is given an account on servers. Login name: ‘jdoe’. User is given a hardcopy of instructions stating this fact repeatedly. The next day user comes in and complains that he mailed to his various friends and associates, but nobody could mail him back. After an investigation the result is discovered: The user decided that his login name is not ‘jdoe’ but ‘Joe Doe’. When confronted with this info user reasons that his name indeed is ‘Joe Doe’.

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