IT manager is reluctant to buy the help desk new phones that support Caller ID. "He explained he would have trouble justifying the expense to the finance manager, who continually berated the help desk as unresponsive," reports pilot fish on the scene. "I countered by forwarding several voice-mail messages left for the help desk. He recognized the voice on one message as the finance manager. The message: 'This @#$%! isn't working. Call me right away!' The help desk got the new phones."

Feeling Blue

On-the-road sales VP calls help desk: His laptop gets a "fatal exception" error every time he boots it up. "After he enters his password and the desktop is about to build, bam! - he gets the fatal exception," pilot fish says. "We try to talk him through it, but on every reboot it's back." Once VP is back in the office, fish fires up the laptop - and sees the problem. "It's only wallpaper," says fish. "He's infected with spyware that changed his desktop background to a picture of the blue screen of death - with an ad for spyware removal."

Forklift Syndrome

Warehouse inventory manager calls sysadmin pilot fish, saying, "You need to come look at this machine down here. It's got a bad cable." Fish walks down only to discover that the PC won't even boot up. And no wonder: The power, mouse, keyboard and network cables have all been completely severed. What happened? Manager: "Well, a forklift hit the table and kept on going about 20 feet. I figured we should at least try to restart the computer, but it didn't work."

Both Sides Now

Frantic new sales guy grabs IT pilot fish as he walks by and asks why the printers don't work. "He showed me the problem printout, which had been unceremoniously discarded in the trash," fish says. "I asked which pages were missing. 'All the even pages,' he said. I took the pages out of the salesman's hands, flipped them over, handed them back - and asked, 'Now what pages are missing?'"


User: "My keyboard isn't working anymore." Support pilot fish: Are you sure it's plugged into the computer? User: "No, I can't get behind the computer." Fish: Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 paces back. User: "OK." Pause. Fish: Did the keyboard come with you? User: "Yes." Fish: That means the keyboard isn't plugged in. Is there another keyboard? User: "Yes, there's another one here. Ah, that one does work."