Think It'll Help?

Company president tasks pilot fish with creating a database for tracking sales leads. "He said, 'We're losing all this data because it's not in a central location,'" says fish, who whips up the form-driven application posthaste. But when an administrative assistant starts entering sales contacts, she's stumped the new app won't let her create a record without all the required fields filled in, and much of the info she has is incomplete. Admin goes to the president, who tells fish, "Allow a blank option in mandatory fields. If I only have a name and a phone number, I want to be able to enter them into the database." Sighs fish, "I'm keeping a copy of the directive, so when he complains that the data is incomplete and useless ..."

Kinder, Gentler IT

Pilot fish passes along an internal program change notice: "Change Notice 12345 discussed a number of changes to the 'My Favorites' setup. One of those changes was a new field called 'Explode upon launching.' We have renamed that to 'Auto Expand.' Company associates thought that the old name sounded a little traumatic."

That's One Way of Putting It

Net admin pilot fish gets a call from a user who complains that her floppy drive won't read her diskette. Fish grabs a replacement drive, heads to user's office and swaps out the hardware, then asks for the diskette so he can test the new drive. "To my amazement, she handed me a U-shaped object," says fish. "She said, 'I left it on the windowsill in the sun over the weekend. Do you think the heat corrupted my data?'"

Seems Clear Enough

Supervisor calls help desk to report that she can't find the new document she was working on before she left for a meeting. What did you do to the document before the meeting? pilot fish asks. "I closed it and exited the program," supervisor says. Fish: Did you save the changes when prompted? Supervisor, patiently: "No, because I wasn't done typing it, and I had to go to the meeting."

Nice, But Unlikely

User complains that she isn't able to forward mail from her work account to her personal e-mail account and wants e-mail admin pilot fish to fix the problem. Fortunately, she does forward the nondelivered-mail error message: "Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients. ... The message could not be delivered because the recipient's mailbox is full." Grumbles fish, "It would be nice if the users would ever bother to actually read the messages."

Sharky will read everything you send him at And if you send me your true tale of IT life, you'll get a sharp Shark shirt if I use it..

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Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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