A pilot fish's need to school the masses

After a break-in at this company, CFO acquires a security system without IT's input. It never works quite right, the vendor is fired, and now it falls to IT to support it. "One day, the system freaked out and locked down two floors," says a pilot fish there. "The computer that runs the security system was locked away in the data center. My boss was trying to break into the impenetrable data center to fix the problem when I suggested, 'Why not use the keys we got months ago for just such a scenario?' He sheepishly took the keys and unlocked the door."

Pilot fish gets the job of making sure all changes to production systems are documented according to IT's procedures. "But I found that most program changes on our distributed applications were not following the rules," fish says. "When I raised this issue, it was obvious that the application programming and network staffs did not comprehend the concept of change management. One response I got was, 'All we are changing is executables.'"

Net admin pilot fish schedules her vacation months in advance and makes sure her predecessor is available as backup while she's gone. "Imagine my surprise when I dialed in on my first day of vacation and saw e-mails about some serious problems at work -- followed by my predecessor's e-mail telling me she'd decided to take off the rest of the week also," grumbles fish. "I canceled my vacation and went back to work the next day as she left for vacation. Someone obviously needs to define 'backup' to her."

Help me recover a document, user tells pilot fish. But after many minutes of trying to find it, fish is baffled. "I finally asked her to go step by step through what she did," says fish. "Turns out she created the document but was interrupted and hit 'close,' saying no to the 'save' dialog box. I did my best not to start laughing but simply explained that a document that was never saved cannot be recovered."

User calls complaining that when he prints scanned PDF documents, he gets several copies, but only with PDFs. Show me what you're doing, says support pilot fish. "I watched him open a document, hit the print icon at the top, click the next-page arrow, click the print icon, click the next-page arrow and so on until he got to the end," fish says. "Pretty easy to figure out why he got four copies of the four-page document."

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