You really think that'll help?

User calls this university's IT department to order a battery for her laptop, according to a pilot fish on the scene.

"She says she would like for us to call her husband when it comes in, as he handles all her computer issues," says fish. "Husband was called and picked up battery.

"A week later, the user comes in with just the battery to inform us that the battery does not fit."

Fish and one of the techs examine the battery. They check the product number against the product database, and it matches -- this is the right battery for that laptop.

So they ask the user to bring in the laptop to see if we can get the battery to fit.

Weeks pass, and the husband finally calls to say that they're both coming in with the laptop. Fish jokes about getting out the hammer to get the battery to fit.

Next day they both come in -- and looking very concerned. A little probing turns up the cause: They're worried that fish and the tech actually were planning to get out a hammer to make the battery fit, and they might break the laptop.

Once that's cleared up, tech flips the laptop upside-down, slides the tabs over and pops the battery right in.

"They both stared in amazement," fish says. "Neither one realized those tabs need to sometimes be slid to the side to get the battery in. We all laughed, and he kept saying he will never live this down again with his wife.

"Sheepishly, he told us he owns his own Internet company and works with computers all day. My technician told him, 'Next time, we'll take it into a separate room.'"

Help fill the Shark Tank. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp 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).

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