Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

OT: anything goes!

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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Broomstick » 2015-10-31 04:22am

It must have been Send the Senile to the Store day yesterday.

There was the $44.14 lady. Elderly lady, had a caretaker along with her. That's not always because of mental problems, lots of frail elderly or disabled people have someone help them with groceries. This time....

I told the lady her total was $44.14. She dug and dug and dug into her purse and after some time produce $0.43. She holds it out and in a tremulous voice asks "Is that enough...?"

Er... lady, it's Twenty Fifteen, not Nineteen Fifteen, which is the last time you could buy that much for under a dollar, welcome to the 21st century. I patiently repeat the total. She nods each time I do this, and produces a slightly different configuration of coins. Meanwhile, the line is growing longer and the crowd noises are no longer happy. Her caretaker helpfully suggests using some of the paper money as well. The lady digs and digs and produces three dollar bills to go with the change. "Is that enough....?"

I am mentally begging the caretaker to take over. I'm all for letting people try to do things on their own, but around the fifth or sixth failed attempt maybe we should all agree this is not happening. Eventually, we get it sorted out, but by then I have to apologize to the following several people for the delay.

There were a number of other ones, but the other really memorable one was an overweight older guy in a bright red sweater, green pants, and a flowing white beard who sort of made me think of an Amish Santa Claus, if there was such a thing. His spouse and daughter were trying to help out, but it was another case of maybe this person really needs less help and more someone to shop for him. Aside from significant ineptitude in steering the electric scooter around, he kept demanding I supply him with his warfarin and metformin, along with a "water pill". He did not seem to comprehend that he should ask the pharmacist for this and not random store staff. He also kept eluding his wife, who could barely walk fast enough to keep up with the scooter, and the daughter was going nuts trying to keep track both of them.

And I though the Hooting Man was annoying at times....

(The Hooting Man is some form of mentally impaired. Lots of ticks and stereotyped movements, tendency to grab anything shiny off the self, and communicates, apparently, entirely in loud hooting noises that are both penetrating and loud. He does scare other customers at times. He makes me nervous because the woman who is always with him - I'm guessing his mother - seems to be barely in control at any time. I alternate between concern at him making a mess/breaking stuff and him possibly pulling a shelf or something down on himself and becoming injured. So far, only merchandise has been a casualty but I still worry.)
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Raw Shark » 2015-11-02 08:10am

REALLY DRUNK BRONCOS FAN: You're so pretty. You have the face of an angel!

REALLY DRUNK PACKERS FAN: Aww, thank you! You're so sweet.

REALLY DRUNK BRONCOS FAN: You're so pretty, your face could kill a seagull!

REALLY DRUNK PACKERS FAN: Kill a seagull? What!?

REALLY DRUNK BRONCOS FAN: Y'know, because you're distracting and pretty and seagulls are into that.

REALLY DRUNK PACKERS FAN: What does that even mean?

YOUR DRIVER: Don't look up! They're falling out of the fuckin' sky!

REALLY DRUNK PACKERS FAN: [laughs!] Yeah, can you take me to my hotel? I'm not sleeping with this guy anymore.

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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Kanastrous » 2015-11-02 10:47am

I think it's a Fabio reference.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Iroscato » 2015-11-02 10:58am

LaCroix wrote:Me: Yeah, the easy solution would be to just drop this code for the second sort, and just keep the initial sorting and run with it.
Designer: Sounds good to me.
Me: Wait - if we do so, we would lose all the sort priorites after we sorted for the distance and network association, so they wouldn't be sorted for name and address, after those. We'll need to incorporate those into the initial sort, as well.
Designer: Right, we absolutely have to. Shouldn't be too bad, right?
Me:Well, I need to write comparators that are first merging the data columns we need into the right format as we'd display them, and then sort by that. That's not quite trivial.
Designer: I see. Do it, anyway.
Me:*wincing, whining*Why the heck do I do this to me? I should have stopped there - why do I always keep talking myself into doing more work?
Designer:*smiles* Because you have professional work ethics?
Me: *sighs* More like I need to learn to keep my big mouth shut until I know what I am talking about...
I understood some of these words.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Borgholio » 2015-11-11 01:39pm

So normally at 5am we have a handful of calls on hold waiting for tech support. We get in, and get two or three calls in the queue. No biggie, but then something strange happens. We all start noticing that all of our callers are reporting similar issues. We compare notes and decide to start figuring out what's going on. We realize that Microsoft released a bunch of updates this morning. So we start trying to figure out if this is the cause of the problem, thinking one of the updates broke our software. Meanwhile I'm checking on the call queue, and it's at 5 calls on hold. Then 10. Then 20. Then 30. Up to 40 people and still climbing. Oh...shit. I tell the other techs to stop troubleshooting and get back on the phones and start just telling people we have a problem with a recent Windows Update and we'll call them back with a solution. Despite this, the call queue keeps growing. The 6am shift gets in and more people are on the phones, but the queue keeps growing. Up to 60+ people. More people in the queue than we've ever had before. So many that callers are getting an "all circuits busy" message and even our outgoing calls are being blocked.

Finally after working with other more senior techs we manage to narrow down the issue to a specific Windows security update. Uninstall that and our software works fine again. A google search shows that this update is causing havoc with many programs across the board...not just our company. So we call back our *literally* hundreds of open tickets and show them how to uninstall the offending update and manage to get the queue licked after about 4 and a half hours of constant chatter. Our bosses are paying us overtime to work through lunch and they're providing us food too because of it.

But holy shit...talk about a wake-up call that we didn't need today. Fucking Microsoft.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Ace Pace » 2015-11-11 05:18pm

Borgholio wrote:So normally at 5am we have a handful of calls on hold waiting for tech support. We get in, and get two or three calls in the queue. No biggie, but then something strange happens. We all start noticing that all of our callers are reporting similar issues. We compare notes and decide to start figuring out what's going on. We realize that Microsoft released a bunch of updates this morning. So we start trying to figure out if this is the cause of the problem, thinking one of the updates broke our software. Meanwhile I'm checking on the call queue, and it's at 5 calls on hold. Then 10. Then 20. Then 30. Up to 40 people and still climbing. Oh...shit. I tell the other techs to stop troubleshooting and get back on the phones and start just telling people we have a problem with a recent Windows Update and we'll call them back with a solution. Despite this, the call queue keeps growing. The 6am shift gets in and more people are on the phones, but the queue keeps growing. Up to 60+ people. More people in the queue than we've ever had before. So many that callers are getting an "all circuits busy" message and even our outgoing calls are being blocked.

Finally after working with other more senior techs we manage to narrow down the issue to a specific Windows security update. Uninstall that and our software works fine again. A google search shows that this update is causing havoc with many programs across the board...not just our company. So we call back our *literally* hundreds of open tickets and show them how to uninstall the offending update and manage to get the queue licked after about 4 and a half hours of constant chatter. Our bosses are paying us overtime to work through lunch and they're providing us food too because of it.

But holy shit...talk about a wake-up call that we didn't need today. Fucking Microsoft.
Compatability is hard. Really hard. Can you pinpoint me the specific patch that broke things?
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Borgholio » 2015-11-11 05:52pm

Compatability is hard. Really hard. Can you pinpoint me the specific patch that broke things?
KB3097877.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Purple » 2015-11-11 05:58pm

edit: just forget it.
It has become clear to me in the previous days that any attempts at reconciliation and explanation with the community here has failed. I have tried my best. I really have. I pored my heart out trying. But it was all for nothing.

You win. There, I have said it.

Now there is only one thing left to do. Let us see if I can sum up the strength needed to end things once and for all.

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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Dalton » 2015-11-12 01:57pm

Borgholio wrote:
Compatability is hard. Really hard. Can you pinpoint me the specific patch that broke things?
KB3097877.
Hahaha http://www.infoworld.com/article/300444 ... ows-7.html
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Borgholio » 2015-11-12 02:19pm

Yeah we did a collective facepalm over here on that one. Because it's the same KB number, it won't automatically download and replace the bad file. So we had to tell our customers to uninstall the old up date and then download the new one rather than just letting Windows Update do it's thing.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Ace Pace » 2015-11-12 03:26pm

Dalton wrote:
Borgholio wrote:
Compatability is hard. Really hard. Can you pinpoint me the specific patch that broke things?
KB3097877.
Hahaha http://www.infoworld.com/article/300444 ... ows-7.html
I loled at Microsoft. But not because of the idiot writer who couldn't bother to do two minutes of research into his "joke", which was horribly wrong.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Dalton » 2015-11-12 05:38pm

I didn't notice any joke. Just the article. Hah
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Venator » 2015-11-12 07:19pm

Tried to set up screen-share with a coworker on the opposite side of the country. Figured we'd start by setting up Skype so we weren't using phone minutes (didn't know if he had nationwide).

Me: "Try searching for me, my Skype username is <email>."
Him: "Uh, not getting it. Try mine, it's <email>."
Me: "Uhh... okay, I think I found you. Is your display image, a, uh, woman with blue hair?"
Him: "... yeah, that's me. It's my personal Skype account... should, uh, set up one on my business email."
Me: (mentally) I'm not sure having an anime character in a schoolgirl outfit and visible underwear is wise regardless, but hey...

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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Raw Shark » 2015-11-21 04:01pm

POSSIBLY ROOFIED: I'm not doing so good. Can you drive me somewhere?

YOUR DRIVER: Where do you want to go?

POSSIBLY ROOFIED: I dunno, just drive.

YOUR DRIVER: I'm not going anywhere until I have a destination; I don't want to rip you off.

POSSIBLY ROOFIED: Here's forty bucks, just let me get some air and think for a minute.

YOUR DRIVER: Okay...

POSSIBLY ROOFIED: Do I sound really fucked up to you? I feel fucked up.

YOUR DRIVER: Uh, yeah, you sound like you've had a lot to drink. We should probably get you home.

POSSIBLY ROOFIED: That's the thing! I've been in AA for three years! All I had was a club soda, and now I feel like I drank a fifth of Jack Daniels!

YOUR DRIVER: Holy shit, man. It sounds like you got drugged with something.

POSSIBLY ROOFIED: You think? Why would somebody do that?

YOUR DRIVER: I dunno, maybe they wanted to steal your wallet, or you grabbed the wrong drink.

POSSIBLY ROOFIED: Do you think I should go to the hospital!?

YOUR DRIVER: I don't know, do you feel sick, or just intoxicated?

POSSIBLY ROOFIED: Just intoxicated, I think.

YOUR DRIVER: You're probably fine. Just take the cab home and drink a lot of water.

POSSIBLY ROOFIED: But I drove my car down here. I need my car tomorrow! You need to take me to my car.

YOUR DRIVER: Uh. I'm not doing that. Where do you live?

POSSIBLY ROOFIED: [snip several minutes of whining and pleading] FUCK. Okay, fine. Just take me to Cherry Hills. This is the worst thing that could've happened to me tonight!

YOUR DRIVER: Look at it this way, at least you're not waking up tied to a chair in the basement right now with Zed, Maynard, and the Gimp.

POSSIBLY ROOFIED: Wow. Yeah...

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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Korgeta » 2015-11-21 04:32pm

You handled that pretty well, being spiked isn't a pleasant experience so its good you shown empathy to him as well.

Had an interesting exchange of words with a group during my time as a steward, it was at Silverstone on the night shift and about 12-14 guys came to the gate I was watching. (There was another steward in the control room overlooking but he was watching porn)

So though it was a summer time at night it was cold and about 2am ish did these guys turn up, so I stopped them and instructed that they had no access, the lead guy panicked and already his mates behind started to mutter each guy had a different accent. So the lead guy turn to me again and pleaded:

'Look there's been a confusion, we were promised to come in'

'I didn't promise you anything? Who are you.'

'Were mechanics'

'You have the badges?'

'Well no'

'Unless you have them I can't let you in'

'PLEASE!'

(The group really did look anxious, but I had to be firm because you get all sorts of claims and attempts by people wanting to get in, from left my bag at home or my child with cancer has dropped his such a thing and I just need to go and get it) But this group really looked anxious and it was a standoff to which I was considering radioing the supervisor to get someone to help me kick them off when another steward supervisor came, saw what happened and let them in, whilst quickly apologising for being late. I asked what was going on to which he said I nearly turned away the Mercedes mechanics team (the race was on later on in the day as well)

Not that it was unusual to get some members of racing team get into bother, year before that we had to pin down two members of lotus who got onto a quadbike and driving round rampant at night with no headlights, when we cornered them even our line manager turned up and he was a tower of intimidation, he is a nice guy, 6'7 joky, supportive but the moment he got to the scene the night got even quieter as he calmly walked upto the guys looked calm except for the anger inb his eyes at the two on the quadbike and whispered to them something to which they did whilst looking visibly pale.

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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Kanastrous » 2015-11-27 07:28pm

Just had one of those conversations that started with my eagerly accepting what I thought was going to be a staff design position on a multi-season tv show which by now should run on rails - that is to say, something easy I can practically do in my sleep in Los Angeles, a nice way to get back into the rhythm of things after having taken half the year off - and ended with the realization that I was agreeing to Art Direct an $80 million feature shooting across four states plus Canada.

Damn those so-similar-as-to-be-very-easily-confused titles, that lead one to mistake one project for another.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Dalton » 2015-12-01 03:23pm

Kanastrous wrote:Just had one of those conversations that started with my eagerly accepting what I thought was going to be a staff design position on a multi-season tv show which by now should run on rails - that is to say, something easy I can practically do in my sleep in Los Angeles, a nice way to get back into the rhythm of things after having taken half the year off - and ended with the realization that I was agreeing to Art Direct an $80 million feature shooting across four states plus Canada.

Damn those so-similar-as-to-be-very-easily-confused titles, that lead one to mistake one project for another.
Holy shit. I'd crap myself.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by LaCroix » 2015-12-15 07:19am

How it feels to work in IT:



Some days, I get the strong urge to crash my car into a tree at the way home, just so someone else has to take care of a certain project while I'm in hostpital....
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by phred » 2015-12-15 11:25pm

It's not just IT. I've seen that that conversation before helping put stores or houses together.

"we can totally do that, right phred?' "Uuhhh.... suuure, it's only mostly impossible."
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by LaCroix » 2015-12-16 06:52am

True. In IT the problem is much worse, though. If you tell someone that if you put a garage on the roof, the house might collapse under the weight if not supported properly, they kind of understand. Too long a balcony will bend without a support at the end? Flying cars need too much power to work properly? You can't have something optimized for track races AND off roading that excells in both fileds? For all these things, you can demonstrate with a simple model or a real life analogy.

In IT, there is the problem that things that seem trivial (e.g. matching a face to a name) can border on being impossible, while huge things (e.g. find the tinies bit of irregularity in a whole year of financial transactions) are trivial. And that's not even scratich the surface on the problem we have with their designs trying to break the designs of other designers, or tries to outright violate the framework. I had designers telling me they need this program to work with a database they won't even have for another year, and I should just jury-rig something that stores the data, until I can have a database. That's like demanding a car that needs fuel, but you can't have a fuel tank. You don't even want to know the solution I had to cook up for them, for they "already promised that feature to the customer, so we have to deliver". I am not religious, but I am pretty sure that I will burn in some kind of hell for doing the things I had to do to survive...

Most designers still do believe that if they can write it down with words, we should be able to write it in code, it's only a language, after all. And thus, whatever idea they can put down in words should be possible to do in code.

That's why occasionally, the fad of automatic code generators rises it's ugly head where the designers can use an easy scripting tool to define what a function does, and the code will be generated from that, without those naysayer developers to deal with. Funny enough, when these things create code that doesn't work properly outside of very easy programs, people should have learned that coding isn't just translating written instructions. But they never do.
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Wild Zontargs » 2015-12-19 10:05am

LaCroix wrote:That's why occasionally, the fad of automatic code generators rises it's ugly head where the designers can use an easy scripting tool to define what a function does, and the code will be generated from that, without those naysayer developers to deal with. Funny enough, when these things create code that doesn't work properly outside of very easy programs, people should have learned that coding isn't just translating written instructions. But they never do.
Always fun to explain to someone that computers do whatever you tell them to do, not what you meant.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Venator » 2015-12-19 11:42am

Giving two co-workers (including my CEO) a lift from the office to our Christmas party.

Coworker: "What do you think of that, [CEO]?" *points to Nissan GT-R in next lane.
CEO: "It's really cool, like the tech in it is amazing, but to drive it every day... I think my sports-car days are behind me."
Me: "Says the guy with an SL63 AMG."
CEO: "Well I, uh... yeah."
Coworker: *laughing hysterically*

My favourite part of it was when we arrived and they climbed out of my mud-spatter-to-the-door-mirrors Subaru, then immediately brushed Husky fur off their expensive jackets furiously :lol:.

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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-12-19 01:02pm

LaCroix wrote:I am not religious, but I am pretty sure that I will burn in some kind of hell for doing the things I had to do to survive...
Now now.

If there is a God, then surely he has infinite experience with the problem of having to specify exactly what needs to happen, and then having idiots not listen to him and not understand.

So fear not; God is an IT guy too.

No wonder he's so cranky.

:D
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Adam Reynolds » 2015-12-19 10:23pm

XKCD also had a nice summary of that problem as well.
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Re: Conversations From the Professional Front Lines

Post by Raw Shark » 2015-12-20 08:04am

UBER DRIVER: MOTHERFUCKER! YOU CUT ME OFF AGAIN AND I'LL KICK YOUR FUCKING ASS!

RAW SHARK: [has not been having a good week; cuts him off again, blocking him into parked and passing cars; gets out, casually holding his tire iron] I'm sorry, Sir. I don't think I heard you clearly. Please, repeat that for me so I may understand exactly what you want to happen here.

UBER DRIVER: I said I'll kick your ass!

RAW SHARK: Well, I'm right here.

UBER DRIVER: Get out of my way!

RAW SHARK: Fake cabbie; fake tough guy. Is there anything you really are besides a mouthy coward?

UBER DRIVER: [rolls up window; flips me off; hopefully went home and cried]

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