User has set up her new computer at home, but there seems to be one part left over, she tells IT. It’s a small box with a power cord and a little round hole, and after 20 head-scratching minutes, IT still can’t identify it. Finally user puts her 13-year-old son on the phone, and IT asks him about it. “What?” he says. “The fish tank pump?”

This little gem from a system admin in Sydney wins a GBU mug. IT gets call at home Monday morning before coming into work: the e-mail isn’t working, not the best start to a working week. When he gets in he finds the e-mail server hard drive is full. Another user mentions that it had actually stopped on the Saturday just after he sent an e-mail. Further investigation showed that the user had sent the e-mail with an attachment — of 582Mb. When asked to explain, user says his colleague told him it would be ok as long as it was “zipped up”.


Insurance Australia Group Ltd chief executive Michael Hawker warned local companies this week to continue cutting costs to compete internationally. Hawker said there is a pool of Asian IT specialists and engineers who will work at one-fifth the cost of local workers. He said these IT workers are typically multilingual and well-educated and “in a capitalist world you’re going to use the cheaper labour if you get the same quality.”


Telstra doesn’t take too kindly to call centre employees falling pregnant according to media reports. Wollongong-based employee Diana Ivanovski had her pay docked $100 for taking too many toilet breaks. Every time Ivanovski had to go the toilet she had to log off the computer and log back on again which the telco obviously saw as a serious productivity issue. Telstra ignored advice from Ivanovski’s gynaecologist who said she needed to go to the toilet regularly because the baby was pressing on her bladder. Regardless, Telstra was determined to get that $100 cash in its kick! Not surprisingly the union stepped in forcing Telstra to repay the money. To understand why Telstra is so desperate for cash just read transcripts from recent Senate estimate hearings which show corporate lunches cost Telstra up to $10,000 to entertain corporate customers. Telstra’s human relations director Bill Scales said the spending may seem large but it was actually small for the size of the company. “In proportion to a $22 billion company, it’s relatively small in percentage terms,” he said. So what does one eat at a $10,000 lunch? GBU welcomes reader “guesstimates”.

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