User calls this IT pilot fish complaining that there's something wrong with a wireless access point: It's beeping.

"I've been working with these WAPs for years and have never heard one beep," says fish. "Baffled and curious, I log into the network and check -- sure enough, the device is not accessible.

"A quick Internet search yields no results with regards to the device beeping. I instruct the user to unplug the unit and plug it back in, just to see if a power-cycle clears whatever is going on.

"User responds, 'Oh, I unplugged it. It's still unplugged.' That explains why it wasn't reachable.

"He plugs WAP back in. Device is reachable, and the WAP appears to be functioning properly, but the whole time I'm on the phone with the user I hear a beep in the background every 10 to 15 seconds.

"At this point the user asks if the WAP has a battery, because it continued to beep even after the network cable was unplugged. We've already established that he's looking at the WAP based on markings and connectivity.

"I ask him, 'Out of curiosity, are there any smoke detectors nearby?'

"He says, 'I think we've found the issue.'

"In the background I hear another user saying, 'Yeah, the thing wouldn't stop beeping. I just took the battery out.'"

Connect with Sharky. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

The Best of Shark Tank includes more than 70 tales of IT woe submitted by you, our readers, since 1999. Which all goes to prove, conclusively, that hapless users and idiotic bosses are indeed worldwide phenomena. Free registration is all that's needed to download The Best of Shark Tank (PDF).

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon