This pilot fish’s boss is technologically, um, a little slow. “He used Microsoft Works to print out some information for a customer,” fish says. “Then he brought it to my office, asked me to scan it and save it as a PDF file as well as using OCR to create a Word document, then print out the PDF and snail-mail it to the customer. It was quicker to just do as he asked than to explain the flaws with this approach.”

Instant answer

Manager tells consultant pilot fish he can’t see the point to instant messaging. Why can’t users just send e-mail? “I asked him when was the last time he replied to all the e-mails in his inbox in a single day,” fish reports. “He then quietly ended the discussion.”

So help already!

“The furniture guys just dropped off the boxes, and I need you to come up and assemble my desk,” the brand-new hire tells support pilot fish. Why don’t you call the facilities department, baffled fish asks. User: “Well, your extension is listed as the help desk…”

Who’s on first?

Sales guy calls up pilot fish, inquiring as to whether he is the person putting all the sales presentations on a CD for an upcoming meeting. Yes, fish says. “Could you put mine on the CD first?” sales guy requests. “I have to leave the meeting early.” But I’m not setting the agenda, fish points out; I’m just putting the files on a disk. “I know,” sales guy says. “But they always go in the order the files are on the CD.”

Thanks, I guess

Sys admin pilot fish gets 3:30 a.m. call from a frustrated user who just can’t log into his system. Fish starts going through the usual troubleshooting process and is baffled by user’s problem — until he realizes it’s not one of fish’s systems. “Turns out he worked for another company,” fish says. “But he’d heard from a friend how good a tech-support guy I am, so he called me instead of his support guys.”


My new keyboard suddenly stopped working, user tells pilot fish. What kind is it? fish asks. “She responded, ‘I don’t know what brand, but it’s origami,’” says fish. “It took me about five minutes to figure out what she was talking about — she meant ergonomic. After I managed to stop laughing, she asked me, ‘So, do you know anything about organic keyboards?’“

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