This is what we call a lose-lose solution

Pilot fish is in charge of networking and PC repairs at this small company, and as it begins growing, he asks for some help.

"HR promptly hired two guys who had no PC experience whatsoever," groans fish.

"I decided the best course of action was to work with each 'technician' personally for a month and then allow them to do repairs on their own while I monitored them," he says.

The newbies' skills slowly begin to develop. But they really want more experience, and fish wants to expose them to a wider range of problems.

Then fish has a brainstorm. He goes to the HR manager and proposes an idea: free PC repairs for employees' home computers.

The conditions? "Such work would not interfere with regular company work, we would not charge for the work, and we offered no guarantees," fish says.

HR manager likes the idea -- it's a great perk for employees, and it will let the new techs learn more. He gives fish an OK.

And for the next two years, everyone is happy. Fish's techs handle every PC problem, from system upgrades to tricky diagnostics, and they learn so much they get their A+ certifications. And the employees couldn't be happier with the great new benefit.

Then fish and his techs get a new boss -- who's horrified that so much IT time is being thrown away on employees' home PCs and immediately pulls the plug on the program.

"Then his boss asked for some help," says fish. "Our boss told him to bring his PC in for repairs.

"Soon, other managers began bringing home computers in for repairs. You guessed it -- the regular employees found out and became very upset."

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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