Shark Tank: Let's take this one step at a time

Intermittent noise from this PC's power supply gets a little louder every day, says the pilot fish in the cubicle next door. "Our resident hardware guru tries to fix it by hitting the CPU -- he actually winds up and smacks it a good one," fish reports. "Now the noise is constant instead of intermittent. A new power supply is ordered. About a week later, it arrives -- along with an official installation person from the vendor. The installation person calls the vendor's hot line, and after the requisite greeting and identification, the hot line operator's first question is this: 'Did the noise stop when you removed the power supply?' Well, yes ..."

Nobody Home

A user calls the help desk to complain that her calendaring software isn't working properly. "I'm setting up a meeting for next Wednesday," she says. "I did a 'busy' search, and it shows my boss as being available, but I know he's on vacation all next week. This is bad -- what if somebody schedules him for a meeting and he doesn't show up?" The support pilot fish who's handling the trouble ticket calls the user back. Did your boss enter his vacation into his calendar? "Oh no, I enter all his appointments," says the user. Did you enter it in, then? Pause. "No, but shouldn't it automatically be there, since he'll be on vacation?"

Sorry, Can't Do It

This county office installs a spam filter for incoming e-mail, and some users are confused and upset. "Seems they didn't understand that 99% of everything caught was indeed junk," says e-mail admin pilot fish. But fish works hard to explain to users that the filter is adjustable, and if some legitimate messages keep getting caught in the filter, the senders can be whitelisted to make sure the mail goes through. "We thought this was going pretty well until we received an interoffice mail from one of the nice folks who was indeed one of the clueless users," fish says. "It was a printed-out fax that had a handwritten note reading 'Please add this sender to the junk e-mail list.'"

Open Boss

Boss confronts netadmin pilot fish during a staff meeting. "He said he doesn't like the way a well-known network OS handles assigning rights," fish reports. "I informed him that that's how the OS is designed. Boss said, 'So change it.' I asked how, and he said, 'Can't you get your hands on the source code and make the changes?' I answered, 'If I had my hands on the source code, I wouldn't be working here!'"

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Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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