Collaboration

US Navy stole my Internet

Giving and receiving lame excuses seems to be par for the course in our industry. How best can we deal with them?

It's a typical Thursday afternoon and suddenly your Internet connection goes down. That's not good. As they have innumerable times before, a sysadmin calls up the ISP to file a fault and returns with this information:

"Our Internet provider has informed us that the issues were are experiencing with our primary Internet link are being caused by the arrival of the US Navy's air craft carrier Kitty Hawk."

At least it wasn't e-mail clogging up the tubes, but that does have to rate as one of lamest excuses ever.

We are in a business that is full of lame excuses and almost everyone has done it at some point — whether it was to avoid doing something that you did not want to do, or politely manoeuvre out of a situation.

Why is it that as technical people we think we can get away with a lame excuse? Is it because we assume that the person asking for help is clueless? Have years spent helping technophobes given us a modus operandi that exudes patronisation?

It would appear to be so. Behold the riotous cack that occurs whenever a fellow technical person can mask their knowledge on a particular subject unbeknownst to the victim — who spews forth an amount of lameness not seen since the premiere of Glitter.

What are we to do? We could curb the error of our past ways and remove the assumption that the person on the other end of the line is an ignoramus, or we could go out and picket the KittyHawk for trawling its anchor all over the harbour and ruining a perfectly good Internet connection.



Caption: The Kitty Hawk is a menace and must be stopped. It is here to steal our eligible singles and bandwidth. Taking one of them is ok, but both — that's unacceptable!

About Chris Duckett

Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic advent...

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