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.

Flashback Friday: Eh, I guess it could happen to anybody

Flashback Friday: Eh, I guess it could happen to anybody

But it’s a good lesson in humility.

Wayback Wednesday: For my next trick …

Wayback Wednesday: For my next trick …

I think I fulfilled all the requirements perfectly.

Elementary

Elementary

Logic only takes you so far, my dear Watson.

Memory-Lane Monday: While we’re chatting, I should mention about the big red switch …

Memory-Lane Monday: While we’re chatting, I should mention about the big red switch …

It’s a whole new world in this place.

Flashback Friday: Just wondering

Flashback Friday: Just wondering

Speed is so relative.

Wayback Wednesday: Rush, rush, rush — stop!

Wayback Wednesday: Rush, rush, rush — stop!

You might have told us that a week ago.

In search of lost time

In search of lost time

Simple math stumps a computer system.

Memory-Lane Monday: An unexpectedly DIY job

Memory-Lane Monday: An unexpectedly DIY job

They always say, if you want a job done right …

Flashback Friday: Well, not intentionally

Flashback Friday: Well, not intentionally

And we’re not at all upset that you canceled the contract.

Wayback Wednesday: The ABCs, or the 1-2-3’s?

Wayback Wednesday: The ABCs, or the 1-2-3’s?

How simple do I have to make this?

Is there anything else I can help you with?

Is there anything else I can help you with?

Big Blue and its big blue button.

Memory-Lane Monday: Great idea, except …

Memory-Lane Monday: Great idea, except …

Let’s just say you’re unclear on the concept.

Flashback Friday: When you write the manual, ‘RTFM’ becomes your mantra

Flashback Friday: When you write the manual, ‘RTFM’ becomes your mantra

A lot of work for little thanks.

Wayback Wednesday: There are no crazy troubleshooting ideas

Wayback Wednesday: There are no crazy troubleshooting ideas

When normal fixes don’t work, try what makes no sense to you.

Now hear this

Now hear this

This job is no game.

Memory-Lane Monday: So much savings!

Memory-Lane Monday: So much savings!

Remember when somebody said this was a bad idea?

Flashback Friday: Huh, you know what really bothers me?

Flashback Friday: Huh, you know what really bothers me?

The perils of being considerate.

Wayback Wednesday: There’s always a smart aleck around

Wayback Wednesday: There’s always a smart aleck around

And they are so helpful on the help desk.

All together now

All together now

Ah, the joys of the infinite loop.

Memory-Lane Monday: Wherefore art thou CIO?

Memory-Lane Monday: Wherefore art thou CIO?

He’s a rose by any other name.

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