IT is vetting scheduling software and sets up a demo with the vendor whose product looks the most promising. But to his surprise, a week before the appointment, the vendor's rep shows up. It's a simple mistake; the rep misread his appointment calendar. But since I'm here, can I do the demo anyhow? he asks. "I told him it's fine with me," says IT, "but I don't know how to explain to my co-workers that a vendor selling scheduling software showed up a week early."

Some vendors really know how to make a good impression. Here's a promise that would be hard to keep.

Draft specifications for this hospital's new application include two key requirements, reports IT on the scene. "The application must be Web-based and also must be accessible when the server is down," IT says. "Strangely enough, those did not end up being in the final specs."


Frantic vice president calls IT manager -- he's trying to save a presentation from the network to a USB thumb drive for a ready-to-start board meeting, and nothing's working. It doesn't take IT long to find out why. "The thumb drive is jammed into the network port," reports IT. "I unplug it, put it into the USB slot, then plug the network cable back in, and the presentation is downloaded in seconds and stored. When I ask why the VP put the USB drive into the Ethernet port, he responds that he wanted to download the file from the network, so he put the key into the network port to speed up the process."

Receptionist handles this IT manager's calls to filter out sales pitches, and he can hear her following the script he wrote: "Yes sir, to whom do you wish to speak? Your name, sir? And you are calling from?" She pushes the hold button and howls, "He said, 'My cell phone. Why?'"


IT managers have been sending in plenty of snippets in the past week that will make some readers on tight budgets cringe. IT staff at a government agency claim hundreds of thousands of dollars is being wasted building a private bathroom for its director. Worse, it will only be in use for six weeks! New technology or toilet, how does one measure the ROI?

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