It’s a snap!


It’s a snap! | Computerworld

Say ‘cheese!’

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank

Computerworld / IDG

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Software company that sells its product to businesses is small enough that it’s somewhat remarkable that when one of its customers, a small business located nearby, is acquired by a big national company, the larger company is also a customer. This is good news: The small company will keep using its product. It appreciates this good fortune so much that it says it will be happy to comply with an odd request from the local company.

The acquired company is being asked by its new owner to put employee photos on file. The small company doesn’t want to pay a professional photographer to take the pictures, so it asks the software company to help out. The software company prides itself on its customer service, so it says yes.

Which is where pilot fish, who works at the software company, comes in. He gets volunteered to spend two days at the client company, taking pictures to satisfy the national company’s rules. Fish struggles against getting hooked like this, but he’s reeled in anyway. But I can only do it the first day, fish tells boss; remember, you already approved a day off for me on the second picture day. Someone else will have to take the pictures on day two.

This will work out great for you, then, boss tells fish: The off-site project should only take a couple of hours, and then fish can have the rest of the time to himself. It’s guaranteed, boss says, because only half of the client’s employees will be in the office that day.

On the scheduled day, fish arrives early, as instructed. And he finds that the company is cutting corners in a lot more ways than just not hiring a professional. There is no backdrop where the employees will sit to have their picture taken, so the photos are likely to be filled with random activity in the background. Lighting comes from the fluorescent ceiling lights.

Worse, there isn’t really a camera at all. He’s supposed to take the pictures using the camera built into a laptop. The employees take turns sitting at a desk with the laptop open in front of them, and fish clicks the left mouse button on the touchpad to take the picture. The results, predictably, are poorly lit snapshots with commotion behind the subjects. Fish doesn’t feel good about it, but he figures he has done the best he can under the circumstances.

And fish’s early start on his day off? When he finishes setting things up for the second-day photographer, he realizes he’s been at the client site for nine hours.

Write to Sharky and see what develops. Send me your true tales of IT life at You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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