Sharky

Questions that Sharky gets a lot

Q: What's a pilot fish?

A: There are two answers to that question. One is the Mother Nature version: Pilot fish are small fish that swim just ahead of sharks. When the shark changes direction, so do the pilot fish. When you watch underwater video of it, it looks like the idea to change direction occurred simultaneously to shark and pilot fish.

Thing is, sharks go pretty much anywhere they want, eating pretty much whatever they want. They lunge and tear and snatch, but in so doing, leave plenty of smorgasbord for the nimble pilot fish.

The IT version: A pilot fish is someone who swims with the sharks of enterprise IT -- and lives to tell the tale. Just like in nature, a moment's inattention could end the pilot fish's career. That's life at the reef.

Q: Are all the Sharky stories true?

A: Yes, as best we can determine.

Q: Where do the Sharky tales come from?

A: From readers. Sharky just reads and rewrites and basks in the reflected glory of you, our readers. It is as that famous fish-friendly philosopher Spinoza said, "He that can carp in the most eloquent or acute manner at the weakness of the human mind is held by his fellows as almost divine."

Q: Do I have to write my story in Sharky-ese?

A: No. Not at all. Just be sure to give us details. What happened, to whom, what he said, what she said, how it all worked out. If Sharky likes your tale of perfidy, heroism or just plain weirdness at your IT shop, he will supply his particular brand of Shark snark.

Q: I've got a really funny story, but I could get fired if my old trout of a boss found out I told you. How confidential is what I send to Sharky?

A: We don't publish names: yours, your boss's, your trout's, your company's. We try to file off the serial numbers, though there's no absolute guarantee that someone who lived through the incident won't recognize himself. Our aim is to share the outrageous, knee-slapping, milk-squirting-out-your-nose funny tales that abound in the IT world, not to get you fired. That would not be funny.

Q: How do I get each new Shark Tank tale emailed to me?

Easy. Subscribe to the newsletter.

Q: Where are the Sharkives?

Tales of old can be found in Sharky's archive.

DOS-si-do

Memory-Lane Monday: Sometimes these things just slip our minds

Memory-Lane Monday: Sometimes these things just slip our minds

Flies, honey, vinegar.

Shell game

Shell game

Jeez, working backwards usually saves troubleshooting time.

Throwback Thursday: Bank error in your favor, collect $100,000

Throwback Thursday: Bank error in your favor, collect $100,000

Adjust this story for inflation.

Wayback Wednesday: If it works, don’t knock it

Wayback Wednesday: If it works, don’t knock it

And now our printer is just like all the others.

Sometimes you win one

Sometimes you win one

The old run-around pays off.

Infallible

Infallible

The only problem is that users aren’t perfect.

Annoying, you say?

Annoying, you say?

Really, there ought to be a law.

Throwback Thursday: Solitaire for two

Throwback Thursday: Solitaire for two

Sometimes it’s all just fun and games.

Crash coarse

Crash coarse

Shouldn’t plumbing and electrical systems be kept separate?

Time-Machine Tuesday: A non-smashing success

Time-Machine Tuesday: A non-smashing success

And another manager who’s unclear on the concept.

Shake and bake

Shake and bake

And I helped!

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