GBU

Good

Consultant IT spends a month modelling a client's shift to a new change-management system. Then comes the big day to switch things over. "I flew 2400 kilometres to baby-sit it," says consultant. "But a systems tech -- who was also a big fan of the old system - refused to allow the cutover to proceed. "There is no change order in the system authorizing this," he insisted. Of course, he was right. Nobody, including me, had thought to enter a change to change the change system."

User's personal mouse won't work with her laptop and she demands that IT fix it right away. She said, 'Look, the laptop is not getting the information from the mouse,' IT reports. "I asked where the receiver to the wireless mouse was. She looked at me like I was an idiot. 'Isn't this a wireless laptop? Here's my wireless mouse. They should go together.' Again, I asked where the whacha-ma-callit with the black cable was. 'I got rid of the extra stuff,' user says. 'It wasn't needed.'"

Bad

This company decides to implement a security policy that prevents users from clearing their Internet browsing history. "We've had too many laptops come in with spyware, and we wanted to track where they've been," explains IT. A week after the new policy goes into effect, IT gets a call from one of the company's salesmen. His laptop must be broken, he tells IT, because no matter what he does, he's unable to clear his Web browser's history. IT explains that there's nothing wrong, it's just a new policy that's been put in place. "But I need to clear it," says sales guy. "I don't want my wife knowing that I went to some porn sites." Mutters baffled IT, "Did he just admit to the IT department that he uses his work computer for surfing porn? And why is his wife using his work computer? Some people just never learn."

Ugly

This data centre has a system that dates from the 1970s for identifying mainframe programs, reports IT working there. "There was a naming convention of three letters that represented the department the program was for, plus a five-digit number," IT says. "When the naming convention was established, the last two digits were for version control. Since then, the company had purchased a library system that had its own version control, and the practice of updating the last two digits was lost." Unfortunately, after decades of using the system, the company is running out of numbers for the programs. Solution from IT management: rename hundreds of programs with new prefixes. Why not just use those last two digits? IT asks. That would save all the work of changing hundreds of job-control routines to include the new program names. The response? "We can't," the data centre people said. 'It has been done this way for years, and we can't just start using those numbers." IT reports the resulting project took more than a year to complete.

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