Shark Tank: Rules, Schmules, He's the Boss!

BOSTON (06/12/2000) - IN THE CARDS New IT VP's lackey frets to e-mail sysadmin pilot fish that the veep put the wrong e-mail address on his new business cards. Fish investigates: "The address is formatted in a way that couldn't possibly be used as an e-mail address. Has he ever even used e-mail?" the fish wonders. The lackey hits on a solution: "Can we change the Internet addressing rules so the new VP doesn't have to order new cards?"

RIGHT HAND, MEET LEFT HAND IT consulting firm grows and grows and splits into two divisions: telecom and "classic." A pilot fish in the telecom division is on a team that's finishing Phase I of a major project for a big customer, with the Phase II contract days from being signed. Then the fish hears from the client: Nice work, guys, but you've been underbid for Phase II - adios. And the winning proposal? An unsolicited, eleventh-hour, lowball bid from - who else? - the "classic" division.

CROWBAR, ANYONE? IS chief pilot fish gets a distress call from an engineering VP who says he's having trouble getting his laptop out of its docking station.

"I practically have to pry it out these days," the VP says. Chief dispatches a tech, who shuts down the VP's laptop and flips the undocking lever. The machine pops out. "Oh, I never saw that lever before," says the VP. "So that's how you do it."

HARD TIMES This pilot fish at a Rust Belt manufacturer reports that half the IT staff is gone because of cost cutting. The lucky survivors? Along with double IT duty, they also have to work the factory production line an hour a day. Best of all, says the fish, they still get to field "questions of why the computers aren't being fixed in a timely fashion."

This California university is building off-campus housing for IT faculty, staff and grad students. One-fifth of the units have to be for low-income tenants - which, an administrator jokes, means most of the IT staff will qualify. Har har. Send me your own missive of misery: If your story prints, you get a sharp Shark shirt. And get fresh shark bait online every day at