Why isn't everyone looking happy to hear that?

Support pilot fish gets an escalated trouble ticket: A division's Web-based application has stopped working, and it's critical to get it working again.

"It stopped working about the same time that Engineering implemented some new security settings," says fish. "Some checking and testing shows the new security settings are to blame.

"Engineering's recommendation: Add the Web server to the 'trusted sites' list. That's no good, says the on-site IT guy."

And that's a problem, because when a security setting has been directed by headquarters, getting it backed out is difficult, with lots of red tape. A manager in Engineering tells fish privately that he has never gotten one of these requests past the security group.

That means it's time to call the big meeting to get started on looking for solutions. Several layers of management are called in from the division with the problem, along with several layers of Engineering's management and everyone else who might be able to help.

Headquarters even sends an incident management guy to play referee. All told, fish figures the cost of the people on the conference call comes to a couple thousand dollars per hour.

"So the big call starts," fish says, "and the very first thing said is from the on-site IT guy at the division: 'About an hour ago I tried adding the Web server to the 'trusted sites' list. Everything works fine now.'"

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