If We Told You, You'd Know

Shipping manager tells netadmin pilot fish that the desks in the warehouse office are being replaced and rearranged, so fish drops by. "A user mentions there's a tangle of wires in the corner -- could I straighten it out? I tell her I'll do it next week when they move the old furniture out and I can get to the walls," says fish. "At lunch, a different user tells me the fax isn't working. When I check it out, I discover they painted over the weekend, and the spaghetti in the corner is for four of the five phones that they didn't label or reconnect. Now I'm playing eenie-meenie-minie-moe to guess which jacks have a live dial tone and which is for whose extension. Didn't the first user know no one else had a working phone?"

That's the Magic of IT

Pilot fish and his boss are chatting with a student in an IT work-study program when the boss notices a nearby PC's screen is flashing the log-in dialog box. "He said to me, 'Hey, you want to take that one?'" says fish. "I said sure. At this, the work study was all ears, ready to learn the magic of tech support. I walked over to the PC and pulled the chair away from the keyboard tray."

What Could Go Wrong?

This company has a very simple Web page that's supposed to be updated with new price lists in PDF format every quarter. And for the past three years, a user has been uploading those files using a simple administrative interface, says a pilot fish investigating a small problem. "But something stopped working with this upload tool about two years ago, and we just now noticed," fish grumbles. "So for the past two years, not a single change he made actually went live. And not once in two years did it occur to him to open up a browser, go to the Web site and actually see if the changes took effect."

Need-to-Know Basis Only

User asks pilot fish to request an exception to the Web-filtering policy implemented at the big company where they work. First let's see what the problem is, fish tells him. "We go to the blocked site together, and there's the Web filter page refusing access," fish reports. "'What's the policy?' user asks me, and clicks on the 'More Information' link. Sure enough, the policy explanation page is blocked by the Web-filtering software."

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Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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