If only some technology let you talk to them...

It's about 15 years ago, and the company where this pilot fish works is very dependent on fax technology -- mostly on the receiving end.

"Everyone at the company had his own phone number for getting faxes, which were received by the fax server and then sent to the user's email inbox as an attachment," fish says. "I was the IT guy who maintained, among other things, the email and fax servers.

"I decided to add the ability for everyone to send outbound faxes through the fax server via their desktop PCs. Clear instructions were sent out on how to send a fax. This was warmly received around the company until I was stopped by one executive."

Executive: "I love that we now can send faxes from our desktops, but I have one problem with it. How can I find out if the person I sent the fax to received it?"

Fish: "When you send a fax out this way, it will email you back a confirmation showing when the fax was sent, and if it failed, why."

Executive: "I understand that, but sometimes faxes will sit on the other person's fax machine for hours. How can I find out if they picked it up and read it?"

Sharky's fax machine is been out of commission for about 15 years, but you can still email me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

The Best of Shark Tank includes more than 70 tales of IT woe submitted by you, our readers, since 1999. Which all goes to prove, conclusively, that hapless users and idiotic bosses are indeed worldwide phenomena. Free registration is all that's needed to download The Best of Shark Tank (PDF).

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