About the Author Sharky


Flashback to one of Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers in the 1970s, when almost half the new cars coming off its assembly lines have steering column electrical problems, says a pilot fish engineer who was there.”Each steering column wiring harness wa…

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No Parking Zone

This city’s IT department has hired a contractor to help out on the help desk for a few months, and that’s surfacing some longstanding problems, reports a pilot fish on the inside.”The contractor is backfilling for a help desk technician,” fish says…

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Headless, redefined

Flashback to the 1980s, when CRT monitors are very big in this small IT consulting company, according to a pilot fish on the scene.”We used Falco monitors with our minicomputers,” fish says. “Like all computer monitors in those pre-flatscreen days, …

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Email existentialism

IT pilot fish knows from experience that this particular user is guaranteed to cause a facepalm, but she answers the call anyway when the user asks for help locating a lost email.”After remoting into the user’s computer, I asked her for some details…

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Programmer pilot fish gets an assignment to “see what you can do” to improve an ancient Visual Basic program that’s used by hundreds of users at his company.”It’s a VB6 application written in the 1990s by an engineer who wrote it armed with an ‘Intr…

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This IT shop has a programmer who’s very good at C and C++, but he’s got some nasty personality quirks, says an IT contractor pilot fish working there.”If he didn’t like somebody — which was pretty much all of us — Fred would walk past that person…

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What goes around…

It’s the 1980s, and this pilot fish is taking a Cobol class where the professor’s anger about her messy divorce is spilling into her classroom.

“One day I was having a seriously bad day, as my mother had passed away during spring break,” says fish. “When I went to her office to ask a question, she demanded to know why I missed the point during class.

“I replied I was having issues due to my mother’s death. She retorted that the man across the street from her had died, yet somehow she gathered the strength to get to work. I was so taken aback by the bizarre comment I left.”

A week later, fish is on his way to the Cobol class when the professor gets on the elevator with him and ignores his cheerful “Good morning, professor!” greeting.

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Promises, promises

This company hires a recent college IT graduate, promising him that he’ll be working on a project with some of the latest and greatest technology, says a pilot fish on the inside.”But when he actually started, that project got put on hold — and kep…

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