Shark Tank: Think Different

Panicked user reports that a CD-ROM not only won't play but won't eject, either. "She shoved the CD in the slit between the expansion bay covers," says pilot fish who extracts the CD. "While she's effusively thanking me, I tell her that I'm going to make sure she never has this problem again. I dig into my superimpressive tool bag that has one of everything in it and come up with a roll of clear tape -- which I proceed to use to tape over all the slits between the expansion bays."

Too Far

Netadmin asks operator to put a tape in the right-hand unit of three tape drives for the weekend backup. But on Monday, netadmin complains to pilot fish that the tape was put in the center drive instead. What happened? fish asks operator. "I placed the tape in the right-hand drive," operator says, pointing to the center drive. Why didn't you put the tape in here? fish asks, pointing to the right-hand drive. Operator points to the three drives: "Well, you have left, right and far right." Sighs fish, "By the end of the day, the drives had numbers on them."

Too Small

Pilot fish has tried for weeks to get the CIO's office at headquarters to open a port in the firewall so a contractor can do his work. "The contractor had been on-site for a week by this time and had only a week left to complete the job," says fish. "Finally, in exasperation, one of our techs sent a spreadsheet to the help desk outlining everything we had done to get this request completed. We received a response saying they couldn't read the spreadsheet, since the font was too small -- would we please redo it in a larger size?"

Too Literal

User's PC hard drive is damaged, but support pilot fish manages to recover the files in key directories and copies them to a new drive. Still, user is furious: "Where the @#$%! are all my files?" Where were the files that are missing now? fish asks. "I used to save them in that cute can." Huh? "I use those files a lot, and that icon says 'Recycle,' so I thought it was a good place to put the files that I reuse."

Too Difficult

Newly hired user to IT manager pilot fish: "My mouse pad is missing. Do you have another?" Fish: No, but you can get an office supply catalog from purchasing, pick out one you like and have them order it. New hire leaves -- only to return minutes later: "My boss says you have to order me a mouse pad. She says you're the only one who knows what kind is compatible with our system."

You know what's compatible: True tales of IT life. Send them to, and you'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use yours. And check out the daily feed, browse the Sharkives and sign up for Shark Tank home delivery at

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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