User swears he hasn’t deleted anything, but the eight years’ worth of files that were on his laptop are gone. IT can’t find them either, and there’s no backup. “Sorry,” says IT, “but your data is lost.” Angry user blocks the door, refusing to let IT leave, until a co-worker walks in and laughs, “But that’s not your laptop — yours is over in the corner.”

Executive complains to IT that his PC is too slow and needs upgrading. “The PC is less than a year old and runs fine, but it has a 15in monitor,” IT says. He brings in a new 17in flat-panel monitor and a new mouse and keyboard. A week later, he hears from the exec again: “Thanks. This one is twice as fast as my old one.”

For two hours, IT tries unsuccessfully to help user configure his firewall. The modem connects, but nothing comes through. “Eventually I discovered he had installed three different firewall products,” IT grumbles. “He misconfigured the first one to block just about everything. He assumed that the firewall software wasn’t working, so he installed another — and yet another.”


CRM software maker Siebel Systems said it has asked the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate the leak of internal documents indicating that its customer reviews were less than stellar. The company went on the offensive to quash rumours that portray its customer service in a negative light. The rumours stem from data contained in a confidential, Siebel-sponsored customer survey, which the company says was unlawfully leaked to traders, analysts and reporters. Steve Mankoff, Siebel’s senior vice president of technical services, said excerpts from its third-quarter 2002 customer satisfaction survey had been stolen and sent to select parties. The intent was malicious, he said. The software maker didn’t dispute the authenticity of the leaked data but said it was taken out of context. “We’re not perfect. No company is perfect. In any given survey, what we’ve seen is a couple of problem areas,” Mankoff said.


Telecommunications giant WorldCom, plagued by bankruptcy court and fraud allegations, got rid of its name in favour of MCI Communications Corp in the space of a few hours last week. The company’s global marketing VP, Ron McMurtie, said the name change is all about “unifying and moving on”.