The Easy Way, the Hard Way

Engineer gets an e-mail from sales that contains a copy of a fax inquiry from a customer. Is there a way of telling from this message what the customer's fax number is, so I can reply that way? he asks IT pilot fish. "Naturally," says fish. "All I had to do was call the originating sales guy to get the fax number, and then pass it along to the engineer -- who is now even more amazed at the technical genius of the IT department."

Um ... No

There's a complete power failure at the building that houses this hospital's copy and bulk mail center. No patients are affected, but net admin pilot fish calls the help desk via his cell phone to spread the word. "The help desk tech connected me to a secretary," says fish. "I told her I needed to send an 'all user' e-mail to notify everyone that our phones, faxes and servers were down, and started dictating the e-mail message. About halfway through, she said, 'Wait a minute. Can you put this in an e-mail and send it to me?'"

Now What?

Field tech calls in to this vendor's support office needing some information and a file from the server. "Our new trainee takes the call on speakerphone," reports a pilot fish on the scene. "I overhear the tech ask for the file. The trainee doesn't know where the file is, so the tech is going to walk her to it. 'First, go to My Computer,' he says. The trainee says, 'OK, just a minute,' and places him on hold. She then walks over to his computer, picks up the extension and proudly announces, 'I'm there, now what?'"

Downside

Human resources director wants to publish the employee manual on the company intranet, and IT pilot fish is tasked with making it happen. Then fish gets an idea. He puts the e-manual on a mini CD and suggests that, along with the intranet version, a CD copy could also be handed out to any employee who wants one. Nonplussed HR director doesn't see the advantage: "But to use the CD, the employee would need a computer."

Still a Few Bugs In the System

This bakery has just opened a small balcony lunch area, and the cashier proudly tells customer pilot fish about the new computer system as he takes fish's order. "He said that it sent the order right downstairs to the kitchen, where they would prepare our meal and send it up," fish says. "After selecting our order from the computer screen, he leaned over the balcony and yelled, 'That's two Cokes.' The software just said 'soft drinks.'"

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Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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