This pilot fish's company has offices throughout the country. The bigger offices have help desks; the smaller sites just have a LAN admin like fish, who's responsible the all local IT and phone issues.
"Our remote sales reps call to our main office for first-level support," says fish. "If they can't get the help they need there, they'll usually call one of the other small office LAN admins for help."

And that's how fish happens to be helping a user with a laptop problem. She's trying to send an e-mail message with a large attachment. But the thing just won't send.

Fish does a little troubleshooting, and it turns out this message isn't this user's only e-mail problem. Nothing's going through. And e-mail isn't the only problem; every application that requires authentication through the VPN seems to be having problems.

Just as fish is about to kick the problem up to wiser minds at central IT's help desk, user's phone rings -- and it's central IT's help desk.

"Are you having problems with e-mail?" help desk tech asks.

"As a matter of fact, I am," user says. "Can you see my e-mail down there?"

"No, but I figured you might be having problems," tech says. "One of the other help desk techs told me that Sandy needed to have her password reset. He didn't leave a last name and since you are the only Sandy I know, I reset your password."