Just wait till you have users of your own!

Pilot fish's stepson has a hard drive crash, and naturally it's fish who gets the job of getting the notebook working again.

"I took the PC back to him after all the work to restore it to functional," fish says. "He checked his online courses and made sure all was OK.

"Then he said there were files on his grandmother's PC that he needed to move to his notebook."

Fine, fish says. Go get your USB drive -- the one we gave you with this PC for your classes -- and copy the files. You remember how, right? You were using it to back up your course files?

A nod, a mumble, and off he goes.

Twenty minutes later, fish checks on his progress. In grandma's darkened study, fish can see on the screen a Web search for "how to save to USB drive."

Everything OK? she asks.

"Not really -- guess I didn't know how to do it," he says.

The overhead light isn't working, but fish is still able to quickly determine that there's no drive letter for the USB drive. She watches the monitor as he unplugs and retries. Still no drive letter.

Let's take it out to your notebook and see if it works there, fish suggests.

He unplugs it and carries it out to his own PC. Still nothing. Fish looks at it under the light. This is the dongle for your mouse, she says. It's not a USB drive.

Many minutes of questions ("You do remember having it? ... You said you'd used it ... Can you find it?") and mumbled answers later, it occurs to fish to look at the files that need to be moved.

"It was one Excel file," sighs fish. "Five rows and ten columns -- a sum in one column and an average in another column. The base spreadsheet was furnished to the class. They had to do the formulas and some formatting.

"I asked how long it took to do. He said an hour or so; after all, he had to 'do the codes and stuff.'

"I just laughed and said, 'Recreate it -- you'll be faster this time.'"

Quick -- send Sharky your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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