Shark Tank: What the @#$%! Is Wrong?

Spam filter catches an outgoing e-mail message with language that would make a sailor blush, and IT pilot fish forwards it to HR, as required by company policy. Turns out there's an explanation -- sort of. "The employee said his home e-mail wasn't working, or so he thought," says fish. "So he drafted an expletive-filled missive at work and sent it to his home e-mail account. Not receiving it, he concluded that his home e-mail wasn't working and contacted his ISP. There really is no cure for stupid."


Remote office can't access the system at headquarters one day, so HQ pilot fish tests the remote equipment. "Neither the router nor the CSU/DSU, which connects the office LAN to the dedicated circuit, could be looped," says fish, who calls the phone company. Several hours later, telco calls back with the answer: "The smartjack, CSU/DSU, router, dumb terminal and printer were all gone," sighs fish. "Everything had been stolen."


User's personal mouse won't work with her laptop, and she demands that pilot fish fix it right away. "She said, 'Look, the laptop is not getting the information from the mouse,' " says fish. "I asked where the receiver to the wireless mouse was. She looked at me like I was an idiot. 'Isn't this a wireless laptop? Here's my wireless mouse. They should go together.' Again, I asked where the what-a-ma-thing with the black cable was. 'I got rid of the extra stuff,' says user. 'It wasn't needed.'"

One Step at a Time

State agency spends $100,000 to install high-speed Internet connections so local governments can file reports with the agency electronically, reports a pilot fish in the mix. "Finally, they send out an e-mail with an attached form," fish says. "It reads: 'From this point forward, reports will be submitted via the Internet. Print and fill out the attached Word document and fax it back to us.' "


Consultant pilot fish spends a month modeling a client's shift to a new change-management system. Then comes the big day to switch things over. "I flew 1,500 miles to baby-sit it," says fish. "But a systems tech -- who also was a big fan of the old system - refused to allow the cutover to proceed. 'There is no change order in the system authorizing this,' he insisted. Of course, he was right. Nobody, including me, had thought to enter a change to change the change system."

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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