Shark Tank

FRAMINGHAM (02/04/2000) - USER DEMANDS a rush job on his pet project, a new property-tracking system. Needs it by March 1. Mucho gung-ho, says a pilot fish. So IT tries to set up requirements meetings. Stonewall. No callbacks, no e-mail. The pilot fish finally buttonholes the user. Says we need requirements ASAP. Or do you want to slip the deadline? User: "No, March 1 is crucial." IT guy says OK, let's meet today. Peevish user: "Why do you have to have such an aggressive schedule?"

AN ASSET-MANAGEMENT group at a huge New York bank had a killer '99. Record profit. Naturally, the brass then "severely cut bonuses for the entire IT department," a pilot fish says. (IT suspects the bosses resent all the dough spent on Y2K.) Payback: IT grunts - lots of them - got the flu. On the same day. Ever try to run an investment bank with no IT staff? The brass had to lure everybody back with 15% raises. The bonuses would've been a lot cheaper. Pilot fish: "I guess they do a better job managing other people's money than they do their own."

SO THIS Y2K project manager just got promoted to vice president. Which sticks in the craw of the rest of the IT staff. Why? The same project manager removed the century from all data files. In '95, no less. "I'm wondering what I can remove from the database so I can be made VP," a pilot fish says.

CORPORATE TRAINER orders a Dell laptop. Has problems. Gets jerked around by customer support. Using the naming convention from the support staff's e-mail, she uncorks a savage letter to Michael Dell himself. Surprise: She promptly gets a call from the CEO's assistant. Scores a free upgrade. (That sound you hear is chuckling Tanksters sending e-mail to the lellisons, billgs and h.plattners of the world. ... )A NETWORK SUPPORT contractor for a Dallas-based consulting outfit was wondering what his next gig would be. Couldn't get a straight answer out of the local salesguy. Found out why last week: Salesguy is moving on. And despite unbelievable demand, he hasn't lifted a finger to land a gig for the contractor. "Instead of finding a new job for me," the pilot fish moans, "he was busy finding a new job for himself."

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