We interrupt this comp-sci class for some IT

IT pilot fish takes a job as an instructor at a small tech school, teaching about computer hardware. "Along with the lesson plan, I talked about real-world experience and told stories from my work history and how they applied to the lessons being taught," says fish.

"We finally reached my favorite topic: troubleshooting. I was going through the various steps in the diagnostic process when, in the middle, an advanced student from another class walked in and asked for one of the other instructors."

Fish briefly tells the student when the other instructor will be available. Student walks away, grumbling that fish doesn't know anything and wouldn't be able to help anyway.

Well, what's the problem? fish asks.

Student pulls put his mobile phone and hands it to fish. It seems there are icons missing, and certain songs won't play all the way through, among other issues.

Fish starts to walk through the problems, resolving them one by one and demonstrating to the student what he did to fix each problem.

After about ten minutes of work, fish asks if there's anything else the student needs. There's not, and the student takes his phone and goes on his way.

Then fish turns back to the regular class members -- who are still sitting there.

"I felt like I had done a disservice to the students by fixing the phone during their class time," fish says. "I tried to jump back into my presentation.

"The lesson was supposed to close with how to address matters of customer support and how some customers can be rather difficult -- how, as a technician, you must keep calm, handle matters in a professional manner and make sure that the customer feels all problems are addressed and resolved.

"I was able to apply much of my phone troubleshooting to key points of the lecture. That class ended up probably being one of the most educational classes for the entire course."

Interrupt Sharky anytime with your true tale of IT life. Send it to me at sharky@computerworld.com, and you'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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