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Wayback Wednesday: Sometimes it really ISN’T your job

A new bowling alley opens up near the office where this IT pilot fish works, so he and his co-workers decide to try it out — and their manager tags along.

“Unfortunately, we managed to break out of the screen while entering our names,” says fish. “We decided the best course of action was to leave it alone and get the people at the alley to fix it.

“This wasn’t good enough for our manager, who decided since he worked in IT that he could fix it. At this point we tried to hide and pretend he was not with us.

Result after much typing and hitting of the screen: All games in the 24 lanes stopped for 20 minutes. Every game is cleared and has to be restarted from the first frame.

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Wayback Wednesday: All true statements, in their way

This pilot fish is working as a printer repair tech when he’s called to a job at a small manufacturing plant.

“I was greeted at the front door by a supervisor who said he would show me where the printer was,” says fish.

“On the way to the printer, he told me to not be alarmed by Barney. My confused look prompted him to add that Barney was an extremely large man who used the printer. ‘But he sometimes needs things explained to him more than once,’ he added with a wink.”

The supervisor goes on to tell fish that Barney is the guy that people call on when they need heavy things lifted. Fish isn’t sure he believes it when he’s told Barney will sometimes do things like lift the front of a forklift for money so he can buy a soft drink.

Then he gets to the area where the printer is and meets Barney — a cheerful fellow only slightly smaller than a mountain, who extends a hand the size of a baseball glove and enthusiastically says, “I’m glad to meet you!”

Supervisor leaves, and Barney explains that his printer worked fine for years until it suddenly stopped.

Fish checks the PC that the printer is attached to. It won’t print. He checks the cable. It’s attached, but it looks a little odd, so he decides to try another cable.

Fish tries to detach the parallel cable. It doesn’t move. He tugs harder. It won’t budge.

“Oh yeah,” says Barney. “That cable fell off two days ago and I had a really hard time putting it back on.”

“Can you get the cable off?” fish asks.

“Sure!” Barney says. He grasps the connector with one big mitt and it slides right off.

Fish looks at the inside of the connector and sees the problem immediately: Barney had managed to jam the connector on upside-down when he put it back on.

“I told Barney that the cable must have broken when it fell off the printer,” fish says. “I retrieved a spare from my toolbox, and once I connected the printer to a new cable, it all worked fine.

“When the supervisor came to escort me back up front, I told him that the cable was defective. I didn’t think it was necessary to blame the gentle giant for anything — and the cable was defective, after all.”

Sharky likes all kinds of stories, big or small. So send me your true tales of IT life at [email protected]. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.



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Wayback Wednesday: Oops! | Computerworld

Email goes out to all supervisors, asking for feedback on an hourly employee who’s applying for a promotion to management, reports a pilot fish in the loop.

“The e-mail, as always, had ‘DO NOT REPLY TO ALL!’ prominently displayed in its message body,” fish says.

“Well, one supervisor replied to all, criticizing the way the employee dressed in great detail.

“This supervisor, for some reason, also cc:’d department secretaries on the email.

“And one of the department secretaries was the employee in question.

“Awkward moment …”

Sharky won’t embarrass you. Send me your true tales of IT life at [email protected], and I’ll file off the identifying information. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.



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Wayback Wednesday: Drawn to it

This IT tech pilot fish works in a factory that makes loudspeakers, and one day an engineer comes running over, frantic because his laptop had stopped working while he was in the warehouse testing an application.

So fish follows him to the warehouse and the pallet he had set his laptop on.

A pallet of boxes full of heavy-duty magnets that were labeled with warnings about intense magnetic fields.

Sharky wants to attract your true tales of IT life. Send them to me at [email protected]. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

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Wayback Wednesday: The joy of do-it-yourself IT

This holding company owns a handful of subsidiaries that all run independently — which keeps things interesting for an IT pilot fish who works there.

“In IT, we are often told to just make it work when one company buys its own software,” fish says. “Websites are one thing that we have managed to unify, except for one company that insists on using its own provider and managing themselves.”

Email for all the companies is also on fish’s servers, and that works without a hitch — at least until the day fish gets a frantic call from the subsidiary with its own website. The problem: No outside emails are arriving.

After fish sits through the standard chewing-out about how the business can’t function without email, he starts testing. Sure enough, no outside email is reaching the subsidiary. It isn’t even reaching the mail servers.

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