29 October 2009

Clink Here

I normally don't like to talk about work, but this humors me and I have to share. I pre-apologize to all the non-technical people who may be reading this.

In my lifetime, I've worked at a bunch of software companies. While the software itself might be different at these different companies, and the bosses are different, and the atmosphere is different, one thing remains a constant at all software companies - unhelpful developers. Developers who have no time for support requests. Developers who roll their eyes at any mention that there might be an issue with something they've created. It's annoying and it's frustrating.

With that said, I will wholeheartedly admit that at my current company there is one developer who is not like this. I'll call him Fred for the sake of anonymity. Fred is great. Fred is helpful. If you report a problem, he attacks it like a ninja. If he can't reproduce the problem he offers (OFFERS!) to do a Webex with the customer to see the problem. He gets patches out quickly and he always has loads of suggestions if we come to him for a basic problem we can't figure out. I have loads of respect for Fred so when I relate the following story, it's not because I think Fred is a dunce. I think Fred just happened to be having a very off day.

Oh, and Fred is Asian. This wouldn't matter except that he is unable to say the word "click".

So Fred and I had a Webex with a customer today to go over an issue that Fred has so far been unable to reproduce. The issue is that the customer would like to click on link #1 to open a document as a TIF and click on link #2 to open the same document as a PDF file. This is important, and again, I apologize non-technical people.

We get the Webex going and the customer brings up the web page with the two links. These are the following instructions, given by Fred to the customer:

FRED: OK, clink the first one. What does it do?
CUSTOMER: (clicks) It opens the document as a TIF.
FRED: OK, clink the second one, what does it do?
CUSTOMER: (clicks) It opens the document in Word. It should open as a PDF.
FRED: OK, clink the first one. What does it do?
ME: Fred, it opens it as a TIF. The first one always opens as a TIF. The 2nd one always as a Word document.
FRED: OK, clink the second one, what does it do?
ME: It opens as a Word document.
FRED: Can he clink it?
CUSTOMER: (clicks) Word document
FRED: What about the 2nd one?
CUSTOMER: We just did that one.
FRED: Can you clink it?
CUSTOMER: (clicks) Word document.
FRED: Oh, I see. Can you clink the first one?
ME: Fred, no....see? First link, TIF. Second link, Word.
FRED: Oh, that's right. Can he clink the second one?
ME: Would you like to take control of the mouse?
FRED: No. Can he clink it?
ME: Which one? The one that opens as a TIF or the one that opens as a Word document?
FRED: The first one. Have him clink it.
CUSTOMER: (clicks) It's the TIF.
FRED: Oh, I see. Can he clink...
ME: (interrupting) I think I understand. Thank you customer. I will explain to Fred and get back to you.

Clink you very much.


  1. I don't have to understand computer jargon to find that funny. I could hear the Asian accent in my head as I was reading Fred.


  2. Nice damage control! Fred was having some trouble that day, apparently.

    Thank goodness there was no double-clinking involved!