13. There are no Errors

8.10.04 |

A piece of pizza in front of me, Mozilla checking my mail, and me who just got to the office. Seems like a good start. Until the phone rings.
"Hi, that update you sent us yesterday, now there's something wrong when manually adding items to a bill. The invoice is processed fine, but manual items, like shipping, don't appear on the bill until I turn off the computer."
There's such a nice sunny day outside. And now suddenly I have these images of a large axe, chainsaw, and gillotine in my head. Something's missing in this picture. A substance.
"Yeah, ummm... Lemme think... I think I know... I employed the latest technology of database connectivity in the last update, it's very efficient and therefore fast, it stacks data together in chunks of maximum size so the data used for communication is reduced to minimum. It's quite good," I lie. You have to be clever in this business. You don't make mistakes. Others do.
"But, what does this have to do with my billing problems?"
Gawd, some people need to be told everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, to the last detail. They just don't think.
"You see, as you add that shipping item, it's too small. The protocol layer is waiting for more data to be able to construct a packet of maximum efficient size and then send it to the database. Just add another item, it'll work then."
"But... What? I just need to add this one shipping item!"
Why do people expect me to run their businesses? I have enough problems running my own, I don't need their problems, too. Perhaps I'm in the wrong business. Perhaps I should run classes on running a business.
"Well, you're handling this customer, right? Just add a handling item."
"A handling item? But that's included in the shipping item, it goes 'shipping and handling'."
Yeah. Definitely in the wrong business.
"Make two items out of it then. One item reading just 'shipping', the other 'handling'. Besides, the customer will be more willing to pay a bill if there are more items on it. Be creative. Maybe you'll think of another item to add. 'Processing', for example."
"Processing?"
I should take notes and then write a book. It seems it would be a best-seller. I'd practically make an advert for my classes and then earn from the advert, be very popular, and even earn shitload of cash from running classes. You know, high popularity means you can have a high price.
"Yeah, I mean, your computers aren't running on nothing. Electricity costs. And you need computers to process orders, right? And invoices. And so on. It's the cost of doing business. Processing."
Man, I'd laugh myself silly right now if this weren't an important customer.
"Oh... right! Well, thanks for help!"
Phew, that was close. Now, I quickly add a transaction commit after adding manual items, recompile and repackage the program, and wait for the next call.
"Hi, me again. I tried that, I added three items, but they're nowhere to be seen on the bill."
"Hmmm... odd. Wait! Did you update your computer? Microsoft released some critical updates the last week, and if you don't have them installed it may cause your computer to work unreliably altogether!" I lie again, now prepared for this call.
"Uh... no... I'm not sure how..."
"Well don't worry, I happen to go on some field work just in an hour, it's in your vicinity, I'll pop in at your place on my way there and update your computers in a snap. I have it all on a CD, so you won't have to wait for all that downloading and stuff."
"Wow, thanks! You're really something!"
Yeah, I know.
So I burn the new version of the program on a CD and leave for lunch. I'm good. Really good. Why change the business?

2 comments:

Davin said...

Ohhh! Smart move at the end there blaming M'soft on a critical patch or another. Me, I would have rather made up an excuse about sunspots, but then again thats just me. Over here in Singapore (yes stil stuck here) sunspots are the number one reason for network connection loss.... or so I tell some of my clients :)

Now just let me add some processing fees and extra lines to my work-jobsheet to make it look flufed up and get the clients to sign off on it. Yes, excelent!

Stuart said...

Guys, i htink if you can find a few more ppl to post to this and keep this level up, you will have an extremly popular geek blog on your hands.