Every time there's a major change on the mainframe, this user complains that the change has broken one of his programs. "We're told to just fix it, even when we're certain it never ran," says systems programmer. Then comes the day when a scheduled change is delayed at the last minute -- but the user's broken-program complaint comes in on schedule. "I told our boss with a maniacal snicker," programmer says. "Never heard a problem from that user again."

When a new application rolls out to all this company's call centres, one site reports problems with it every day at around 4pm. Why just this site, and only at 4pm.? IT wonders. "When the reporting user was contacted, she swore the problem was ongoing and affecting multiple users," says IT. He investigates and discovers that this user has been appointed "problem champion" to coordinate reporting of problems. "She was writing down all the individual problems," IT says, "and then reporting them once a day."


This one comes from a local government IT shop who says this particular user has a habit of making mountains out of molehills. The user's e-mail: "We have a serious problem. I tried doing something in vendor's application a different way which I thought would have worked but it didn't. Please notify vendor so we can get this fixed asap."


As acronyms are a routine part of life for those of us in IT, GBU just had to share this one from NSW parliament. MPs were debating acronyms last week upset that the Responsive User Services in Health uses RUSH as an acronym. MPs were upset claiming it is inappropriate for a Department of Health unit related to illegal drug use to be using such an acronym.

But the debate soon turned to the use of acronyms generally with the man in charge of the government's CIO office Treasurer John Della Bosca declaring that he was on a long-standing campaign to wipe out acronyms from the public, private and academic sectors completely. Not only are they offensive, he said, but they alienate people and are "ludicrous and annoying." Imagine if he worked in the IT industry full-time!

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