User thanked IT department for fast new server, but it had never left its box

Head of IT then used happy user's praise to score a bigger budget

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's Friday frolic through readers' memories of jobs that turned into oddities.

This week, meet “Colin”, a former IT manager who was once asked to visit his marketing veep to sort out a laptop deemed “too slow”.

The veep noted that Colin arrived to do the job at lunchtime and was polite enough to ask if he'd taken him away from any other work, or his own midday meal.

“No worries,” Colin replied. “I was just working on the new email server”. Which was correct, conceptually. But said server was still in its box, packing tape still un-ruptured, software un-loaded, electricity not yet flowing. The marketing veep didn't care either way, he headed out to lunch and Colin started work on the laptop.

Fixing the machine was easy – a malware scan found over a thousand pieces of nastyware. Colin deleted them, cleaned out temp files, defragged the drive, rebooted and then headed off to his own lunch with the satisfaction of a job well done.

Upon his return the marketing veep improved Colin's mood further, as he'd sent an email proclaiming, “That new email server is wondrous. I just logged onto my laptop and my email client has never been faster. Will mention this at the next Ops meeting. Well done!”

CC'ed on that mail was Colin's boss, the veep of finance, who “showed up, printed email in hand, glanced into the server room, saw the server still in the box and quizzically raised one eyebrow.”

Colin explained the laptop fix and said he'd have a chat with the marketing veep to let him know the fix was entirely on the client side.

But Colin's boss was having none of that plan.

“Don't send that mail,” he said. “I'm presenting for a bigger IT budget at that Ops meeting. Say nothing.”

Colin followed instructions and got to work configuring and installing the email server, which went online a weekend later when no-one was around to see it happen and generated no appreciative emails.

But the IT department appreciated Colin's actions, because that Ops meeting signed off on a 15 per cent budget increase. Colin did okay out of that: his boss bought him a new desk and couch!

Have you been given credit for something you didn't do? If so, write to let me know and we'll try to slip you into a future On-Call! ®


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