Shark tank

Von Computerworld staff

Good boss, bad boss

Pilot fish is supposed to create a new corporate budget process, but his boss can"t get input from users, though he tries again and again. "The project is put on hold," says fish. "Six months later, users question whether the new budget system will be ready for this year"s budget. My boss reminds them that they haven"t told us what they want the system to do. To this, a user replies, "I know exactly what I want the system to do. But I"m waiting to see if it"ll do it." "


Non-IT boss sees DSL ads on TV, so he asks pilot fish why the company doesn"t use it. "If it ain"t broke, don"t fix it," fish suggests -- but it"s clear that the boss wants DSL. "I was told to put together a report outlining the pros and cons," says fish. "I pored over literature, called colleagues, scoured the Internet for information, all the while dreading the inevitable. Finally, I called the local DSL provider to learn the exact cost." The response: "Not available in your area."


This IT pilot fish is slated to give a presentation to upper management, and his boss wants to see a rehearsal. "I went through the litany of hardware and software updates and network improvements, then began to talk about our current staffing challenges," fish says. "My boss stopped me and said, "I don"t want you to talk about that. I want you to talk about things that will make me look good." I remarked that I would see what I could do -- and found my presentation was off the meeting agenda."

Go phish

Changing certain IT security policies is a bad idea, pilot fish argues in a report for senior management. "I specifically said the average user is not aware of the types of social-engineering tactics used," says fish. "The point was proved when management sent the paper back for editing because "phishing" had been misspelled."

Let "em try

Web manager pilot fish needs to test the company"s public Web sites on different platforms, so he requests a Macintosh. "The IT Cap Ex group replied with a voice mail saying that I don"t need a Mac -- just the different browsers in use today," grumbles fish. "I replied with my own voice mail, saying they were welcome to try to load Safari on my PC."

This week, Sharky says goodbye to Sami Lais, longtime aide-de-Shark, who"s been sifting through stories, getting clarifications, doing the heavy lifting and generally whipping the Shark Tank into shape for the past five years. So long, kid, and thanks -- you"ll be missed.

Meanwhile, don"t let Sharky get any lonelier. Send me your true tale of IT life at You"ll get a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. And check out the daily feed, browse the Sharkives and sign up for Shark Tank home delivery at