How to Save Users Time

Hospital installs a spam filter to save users time, but it doesn't work well. "False positives are the great majority of messages quarantined," groans a pilot fish. He can live with sorting through all those quarantined messages, but when the filter delays some of his messages for weeks, fish calls the help desk. "You're the only one having trouble," staffer tells him. "Everybody else just deletes messages from the spam filter." Grumbles fish, "I guess they're right -- not getting my e-mail would sure save me time."

Right Now!

Panicked user grabs mainframe pilot fish late on a Friday afternoon and says the monthly report he just received is identical to last month's. User says the data snafu must be fixed at once or he can't do his job. "After investigating, I found a system change had indeed stopped updating the file that created his report -- 10 months before," says fish. "He had been getting the exact same report for 10 months. He got a strange look on his face when I told him this -- in front of my manager, of course. And then I walked out the door to enjoy my weekend."

Problem Solved

Elementary school's PCs are infected with adware and spyware, so IT pilot fish installs a firewall and uses it to block access to the adware sites and trains the local tech in how to block and unblock. In two weeks, the blocked-site logs are clear. Nice job! fish tells local tech. But he spoke too soon. "All that spyware was causing too many 'blocked site' e-mails," tech tells fish. "So I allowed access to each of those sites. Now I'm not getting all of those e-mails!"

Some Users Get It ...

User complains to help desk pilot fish that someone is "remote controlling" her PC. "She even removed the network cable, and somehow they were still controlling her machine," says fish. But before fish has a chance to set up a site visit, she figures it out for herself. "Her co-worker had the same wireless mouse, and when she used her machine, it was remote controlling the other user's PC," fish says. "They fixed it by moving a little farther apart."

... And Some Don't

The keys on this user's keyboard keep sticking, she says. But as support pilot fish is swapping in a new keyboard, he tips the old one on its side -- and out pours about half a cup of soda. I think I know what caused your keys to stick, fish says. Her reply: "It couldn't be the soda that caused it, because it was a diet soda that spilled."

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Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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