In fairness, there probably WAS a reason...

Flashback to the 1980s, when this pilot fish is working for a big computer vendor as a field service tech.

"One day, at a customer site and up to my elbows in a large-capacity drum printer with parts everywhere, I got a call from my boss," says fish. "He told me, 'We have a situation a few blocks from you. Drop everything and head over there, calm the customer down and fix their issue.'

"I dropped everything, took a few tools with me, walked over to the irate customer's site and got an earful."

Customer: "I have never been so insulted in my entire life!"

Fish: What can I do to help?

Customer: "We have a printer that just won't work and I called it in for service and this rude guy showed up to fix it."

Fish: What happened?

Customer: "He walked over to the printer and plugged it into the wall outlet. It came on. I said, 'You must think I'm stupid.' He responded, 'Lady, that's the first thing you've said that I agree with' and handed me a billable service ticket and walked out."

Fish: So, what would you like me to do?

Customer: "Check the printer to see why it was unplugged."

Sighs fish, "And no, I didn't throw any more gasoline on the fire. It was all I could do not to laugh out loud."

Special note from Sharky: Want to know more about Computerworld's Shark Tank, where it came from and how it's changed over the years? Sure you do -- so be sure to check out a special "CW@50" interview with Sharky, part of Computerworld's year-long 50th-anniversary celebration. And don't forget...

Sharky wants to plug your story into the Tank. Send me your true tale of IT life at, and you'll get a stylish Shark shirt every time I use one. Comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

Get your daily dose of out-takes from the IT Theater of the Absurd delivered directly to your Inbox. Subscribe now to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Computerworld's IT Salary Survey 2017 results
Shop Tech Products at Amazon