This Won’t Leave You With A Warm Feeling

, , , , , | Related | July 26, 2021

It’s December 2019 and Australia is experiencing one of the worst bushfire seasons in history. The sky is constantly red-brown from smoke and ash and we are hearing about new fires popping up every day. A state of emergency has been declared and the general mood is one of fear and anxiety.

One morning, I’m trying to get my children fed and ready for school while trying to get the news to play on our [Smart Home Assistant]. I am getting cranky and shouty as “The Assistant” can’t hear me properly with my kids chattering away in the background.

Assistant: “Would you like to hear some soothing and relaxing sounds?”

Me: *Giving up* “SURE! Why not?”

“The Assistant” plays crackling fire sounds.

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This Is Going To Be A Very Long Account

, , , | Right | July 23, 2021

I was helping an elderly customer making their first customer account on our website. They did try from the website on a tablet and then the app on said tablet; they didn’t have a computer. After thirty minutes of it not working:

Customer: “Would it work on the app from a phone?”

Me: “Yes, that should work, but it might be difficult now since you’re talking with me.”

Customer: “The phone is around here somewhere, but it’s been hard to find all day.”

I assumed they maybe had two phones for different purposes, so I just waited… until the customer realised that they were using said phone to talk with me.

After a forty-minute phone call without them being able to make an account, they would now try on their own and call back the day after. I ended up staying until well after closing because of the call.

At least the customer was nice to talk to and joked about their own mistake, so that was not as bad as it could have been.

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Did The Earth Not Move For You, Too?

, , , , , , | Working | July 23, 2021

In 1974, I go to see the new disaster movie Earthquake. The high-budget movie features famous actors and “Sensurround”! This involves specialized bass speakers that create a sound wave that is more felt than heard. The speakers make the theater rumble during the earthquake scenes.

The movie follows the typical disaster movie formula. Part One introduces characters pre-disaster. Part Two shows characters during the disaster. Part Three shows the characters after the disaster.

In the movie, before the big quake, there is a pre-quake, but there is no Sensurround, and I wonder why. (I learn later that Sensurround should have been felt during the pre-quake.)

Everyone in the theater can tell that the earthquake is going to happen very soon. And then… the movie skips from Part One directly to Part Three, leaving out the earthquake part. The entire audience is wondering, “What the f***?”

Three minutes into Part Three, the movie stops and the theater lights come on. The projectionist messed up. Ten minutes later, the movie finally resumes with Part Two. We finally get to feel Sensurround, but the climactic moment in the movie is lost.

After the movie, I get in the long line with all the others wanting a voucher refund ticket. The manager is sitting at a folding card table in the lobby to sign refund vouchers and he is not happy. After ten minutes in line, it is finally my turn. The manager looks at me and says, “So why do you think that you deserve a refund?”

Internally, I just thought, “Whatever the forty people in front of me told you.”

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Leave This Stuff To The Experts

, , | Right | CREDIT: MadIllLeet | July 18, 2021

I have never met a web developer who has a clue as to what DNS (Domain Name System) is and what it does. Every time a client hires a web developer to build them a new website, the developer always changes the nameservers on the domain to point to their host. Guess what happens? Yup, email breaks. Guess who gets blamed? Not the web developer!

To combat this, I have a strict policy to not give a web developer control of a client’s domain. Occasionally, I get pushback, but then I explain why they are not allowed to have control. It usually goes something like this.

Web Developer: “Can you send me the credentials for [Client]’s domain registrar?”

Me: “I cannot do that. I can take care of what you need, though.”

Web Developer: “Sure, I just need you to update the name servers. It would be easier if I had control, though, so I don’t have to bother you.”

Me: “It’s not a bother. I can’t change the name servers, though, as it will break the client’s email. I can update the A record for you.”

Web Developer: “I don’t know what that is.”

Me: “And that is why I’m not giving you control of the client’s domain.”

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Copy + Paste Saves Lives And Fingers

, , , | Working | CREDIT: AlanAppRed | July 15, 2021

I work at a small private institute for teaching English in a country where English is not our native language. The secretary there is quite sweet with everyone, and she is the one who suffers the most the pressure from our boss. I can’t tell who of the two has less knowledge about technology.

I get to work as usual, and I see the secretary typing as fast as she can. I ask her what she is doing because, obviously, she has a lot of other tasks to do — receive phone calls, talk with parents, fill in forms, etc. — and I can tell she was making her biggest effort.

Secretary: “[Boss] asked me to copy this whole text — more than ten pages! — from a PDF file to a doc for her daughter’s schoolwork.”

Me: “But why don’t you do this?

I approach her desk, and I copy the text from the PDF and paste it onto the doc file. She looks at me as all the words from the PDF file appear immediately and magically in the doc file.

I think she is still thanking me to this day.

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