We don't get to see too many stories from our friends on the hardware end of things, so I thought I'd share this story that Sean Wolfe sent in ...
I was working at a medium sized "body shop" before the bubble burst days. Our internetworking team had just hired on a new engineer who dazzled them with the latest buzz-words and claimed he was a Cisco Certified Engineer. After being hired, the internetworking group had serious doubts about his skills when he responded to tech talk with rather terrible errors. They brought this up to a manager, in which they decided to follow up on his Cisco Certification, asking him to bring in a copy (letting him to believe that they wanted to add it to their "wall of certifications") he stalled various times.
Unfortunately for the company, business in internetworking hit a lull, and they didn't have any work for him yet to really get a feel for his skills. After about 3 months, they finally got a job that was worthy of his skills. A small sized downtown office needed to increase there network port capacity by adding an additional 24 port 3Com hub (when hubs were all the rage), adding to their already existing one.
During that time, I was the IT administrator of the office. One day I found him snooping behind our networking rack. I was a little suspicious and told the internetworking guys about it. They told me about his job and figured he was going behind our rack to see how our 3Com switch was hooked up to the rest of our network.
Shortly after that this guy was fired. The final straw being that his manager found a fax on the fax machine that was addressed to him, containing detailed instructions on connecting two hubs together. The worst part about the fax, was that it came from our competitor.