Tall tales of tech -- that happen to be true

The IT professional faces ups and downs during the daily grind. InfoWorld presents some of the year's best reader tales from the tech trenches

Windows 7, cloud computing, and Droid vs. iPhone may have dominated tech headlines in 2009. But for techies, of perhaps more immediate importance were the crazy ups and downs daily life in IT brings. For instance, experiencing the classic -- and unavoidable -- "d'oh!" moments. Dealing tactfully with tech-challenged users. And navigating the dangerous waters of office politics.

Every week in InfoWorld's Off the Record blog, readers take advantage of anonymously sharing their tales from the trenches with IT peers, whether it's to tell a lesson learned or a humbling story or simply to vent frustrations.

[ Want to cash in on your IT experiences? InfoWorld is looking for amazing or amusing IT adventures, lessons learned, or war stories from the trenches. Send your story to offtherecord@infoworld.com. If we publish it, we'll hide the identity of you, your company, and your colleagues -- and send you a $50 American Express gift cheque. ]

We present a sampling of the more memorable stories from 2009 and look forward to the crazy tech tales readers will share in 2010.

Can I please just do my job?
A common theme in Off the Record stories is the tension between business initiatives and, well, reality. Throw into the mix a poor manager and who knows what'll happen, especially if the IT admin actually takes that overdue vacation: "Saturday my pager went off. I called in to find out that the network was down and 400 collection agents were idling away their time because of the outage. I apologized to my wife and drove the 450 miles back to the office to find out that my backup server was gone. After an hour, the lone server was back up and running from a backup tape that was several days old. My boss demanded to know why the server failed -- and I demanded to know where my backup server was."

More "can I please just do my job?"

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