Doing whatever it takes

Pilot fish is cruising his operation, looking for anything IT-related that doesn’t look quite right, when he spots a thermal-transfer label printer in the receiving department with yellow tape all over it. He lifts the cover, only to find that the print head is being held in place by five twist-ties wrapped tightly around it. Why the twist-ties? fish asks the receiving guy — who responds, “ ‘Cause the bungee cord broke.” Says fish, “I think I’ll be ordering a new printer.”

Temp fugit

Database admin pilot fish is installing software on users’ PCs, but on the HR director’s laptop there’s not enough free disk space. “We looked around for files to remove,” reports fish. “He had a lot of files in his temp directory that we promptly deleted before continuing the install. Next day, help desk guy came by to tell me we had just wiped out most of the HR director’s files. E-mail went out the same day stating not to put any important files in the temp directory.”

Motion tabled

Pilot fish is asked to move a server, so he calls ahead to make sure it won’t end up on the floor, where it will collect dust and overheat. “We asked them to put it on a table,” fish reports. “Ten minutes later, we had a phone call saying there was a table ready for the server. We asked where it came from. They said, from under the server. Where’s the server now? On the floor. They took the table from under it and put the server back down on the dusty floor. We left within 20 minutes to move the server before it overheated.”

Still a lot to learn

New kid in the IT department is fresh from an “IT support training institute.” But pilot fish isn’t so sure about the training when the kid spots a pile of old hard drives in the hardware repair shop, waiting to be recycled. “He fetched up a Seagate hard drive and asked if it was 56K or 33.6K,” sighs fish. “We told them it was much faster — a DSL disk drive.”

Do you copy?

Outside consulting group comes in to do a security audit, and it’s pretty thorough. “They produced a large document with all their findings,” says a pilot fish on the scene, “including details on our entire network infrastructure, all the weak points therein and information on how these flaws could be exploited. But one point they obviously didn’t hammer home: the security mind-set. They copied it and forgot to take the original, which was still sitting in the copier when a co-worker went to use it.”

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