Shark Tank: There's Always a Reason

After several smash-and-grab robberies, this company installs a very high-tech alarm, complete with sensors to detect office windows breaking. But the new system seems to malfunction from the start, frequently sending false alarms to local police. Finally, one lonely weekend, this pilot fish is doing a system upgrade and hears glass smashing.

"While dialing 911 on my cell phone, I ran toward the sound," says fish. "But there was no damage anywhere -- just the gentle purring of a PC left on. Turns out our sophisticated alarm system actually did work. This PC had a unique notification sound for incoming e-mail: breaking glass."

Impossible

This IT pilot fish is consolidating two branch locations into one, and on the day of the big move, he gets a call on his cell phone. It's a sales guy from one of the branches, asking fish for permission to retrieve a file from the server.

"No, that's not possible," says fish. Why not? "Because the server is disconnected." Well, can you reconnect it just for me? "No, that's not possible." Why not? "Because the server is in the back seat of the rental car that I am currently driving to the new location."

No, That's Not It

User's PC makes an annoying noise, and this pilot fish tracks it down: The fan on the video card is about to die.

"I informed the user that it would be quicker to replace the video card than the fan," says fish. "He asked if the card could be removed or disabled, since the noise was so distracting. After I explained that it was an important part of his PC and couldn't be removed or disabled, he responded that he assumed that it was only for watching videos, and he didn't do that on this computer."

Anything Else?

Pilot fish gets a message via voice mail from a user he helped the previous day with a problem that had nothing to do with e-mail:

"Listen, I don't know what you did yesterday, but today I can't get to any of my e-mails. I'm not sure what you did, but could you come and ... Oh, never mind. I found my mail. Sorry about that."

Wanna Bet?

Networking pilot fish needs to restart the primary domain controller, so he notifies users and then sends an all-clear message when the work is done.

"I send out the all-clear e-mail and ask any users still having difficulty to contact the help desk," fish says. "I then receive an e-mail response: 'Yes, I'm still having trouble. I can't respond to e-mails.'"

Submit your own true tales of IT life to sharky@computerworld.com. If Sharky uses it, you'll snag a snazzy Shark Tank shirt! You can also add comments by using the form at the bottom of this page.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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