Shark Tank: Not Quite What He Planned

May 30, 2006 11:28 AM EDT
Pilot fish gets a directive from the boss: From now on, all PCs must be switched off at night. "One of the team had left a spreadsheet open overnight, and the boss couldn't make changes to it," explains fish. But now there's a new problem: Some of the team's work requires a six-hour uninterrupted run. "So if we came across a problem that couldn't be finished in time, we weren't able to start it until early the next day," says fish. "A lot of sitting around surfing the Web ensued. That directive only lasted three weeks -- until the work started to pile up."

Facility manager asks programmer pilot fish how to use the new USB flash drive his kids got him for his birthday. "Wanting to make a good impression, I plugged his flash drive into my PC, where my flash drive was also plugged in," fish says. "As I was showing him what not to do, I wiped out my entire flash drive with 200MB of personal and business information. I have a meeting with the boss and teammates next Monday; I'm trying to figure out how to explain my lost data."

Whatever Works
User spills a drink on his keyboard, and pilot fish swaps in a replacement, then calls support. Put it in water to keep it from drying out, and I'll fix it when I come in, support guy says. "The keyboard was duly placed in a sink in the break room," says fish. "And to encourage people to leave it there, a sign was stuck over the sink saying, 'Some people fix their computer bugs -- we drown ours.' And, yes, the keyboard survived."

By the Numbers
Co-worker in training class to pilot fish: "Why, when the instructor wants us to see something better, does he change the number in that box on the top of the screen from 10096 to 15096?" Fish: "It took the rest of us in the room several minutes to figure out that the instructor was increasing the page size from 100% to 150%. On the screen projection, it sure looked like 10096 and 15096."

Pilot fish is in network manager's office when the phone rings: It's a technician asking if the network team removed any switches from one of this hospital's buildings. "The users had frantically come up to the technician reporting switches missing," fish says. "The answer was no -- no network hardware had been removed from the area." A little more digging, and the problem becomes clear. "It was light switches that were missing," says fish. "I guess that's a network issue."

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