Not So Strange After All

Help desk manager pilot fish takes this call personally: A very big bigwig's PC is "behaving strangely." "Thinking it was a computer virus, I took the emergency kit and a laptop and prepared for the worst," says fish. "Sitting down at the machine, I surveyed the huge wooden desk, smelled lemon-scented wood polish and noticed no mouse pad. Sure enough, the mouse ball had wax, and the surface of the desk alone did not provide friction. Installed spare optical mouse. Problem solved. Got a very nice letter from the bigwig, too."

Unclear on The Concept

State agency wants to use a bus to travel around the state, auctioning off surplus equipment. "Everything looks good," says a pilot fish helping to set it up, "except they want a laptop to run the auctions live against the surplus database. And it has to have a wireless connection." Why don't you just use a modem? fish asks. Response: "We go to sites that are so remote, they might not have a phone connection."

They Were Such Nice People, Too

This newly hired pilot fish knows his predecessor left suddenly after only a few months, seemingly for no reason. But fish can't figure out why: Everyone at this small accounting firm seems nice and friendly. "There were two office locations across the street from each other," fish reports. "Shortly after setting up remote access to desktops to reduce the number of trips across the street, I was accused of laziness and conspiracy -- and fixing the users' problems behind their backs."

We Can Do That

Pilot fish creates an image of his signature to be added automatically to his outgoing e-mails. Other users see it and ask for his help creating their own. "One day, I get a message from a notoriously clueless user, asking to have a signature created for her e-mail," says fish. "I replied back with mine showing, and asked her if she would like one similar to mine. Her reply? 'No, I want one with my name on it.' "

It's All About Priorities

Presenter at this technical seminar is about to start her high-tech demo when she realizes that the batteries in the remote control for her projector are dead. But that's not a problem. "The room was filled with network engineers and admins, who were quick to offer up the batteries from their pagers," says a pilot fish on the scene. "Not only was this a chance to show that chivalry isn't dead, but also to prevent any delay of the happy hour that followed the presentation."