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  • Baptism By Fired
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  • Category: Extra Stupid

    Is At Least Very Stupid

    | NJ, USA | Bosses & Owners, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I develop websites for a variety of clients. My employer does the marketing. Her clients provide details of what they need, she writes up a specification, and I implement it. One such specification, for an online school, stated ‘students must select at least three courses.’’ I implemented the shopping cart just that way. Afterward, my boss calls to complain.)

    Boss: “The client is complaining that the form won’t submit unless he selects three courses.”

    Me: “That’s what the specification said: ‘students must select at least three courses.’ That’s what he asked for.”

    Boss: “That’s wrong. ‘At least three’ means one or more.”

    Not Speaking The Same Language About The Same Language

    | Adelaide, SA, Australia | Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (I only overhear a consultant’s advice to a customer, and not the customer’s responses.)

    Consultant: “No, I am sorry we don’t have any Chinese translators.”

    Entire Center: *stands up and stares at the consultant, bug eyed*

    Consultant: “No, really. We don’t have any Chinese translators. We’ve got Cantonese and Mandarin translators, but that is probably not going to help…”

    Played His Card Right

    , | ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Employees, Extra Stupid, Technology, Top

    (My credit card features chip-and-PIN, but the chip has stopped working. I know this, and have ordered a replacement card, but in the meantime I have to make do. Fortunately, nearly every credit card terminal allows one to use the old-style magnetic stripe on the card if the chip doesn’t work. I’m ordering some fast food.)

    Cashier: “Okay, your total is $9.25.”

    (I hand the cashier my card, which he immediately inserts into the terminal’s chip reader.)

    Me: “I think the chip’s broken, so you might need to—”

    (The cashier pulls the card out, frowning, and inserts it again.)

    Cashier: “This card isn’t working. Do you have another method of payment?”

    Me: “I know. The chip is broken. Can you just swipe the card instead?”

    Cashier: “This machine won’t let you swipe chip cards.”

    Me: “Are you sure? There’s usually an override option on these machines. What does it say?”

    (He inserts the card again.)

    Cashier: “Nope. It says your chip is broken. Do you have any cash?”

    Me: “Um, are you sure there isn’t any option to let me swipe the card? Every other place I’ve been to has been able to do that.”

    (The cashier rolls his eyes and calls over his manager.)

    Cashier: “This card isn’t working, and he says he wants to swipe it instead.”

    Manager: “That won’t work. With these new cards, you have to use the chip. The machine won’t let you swipe.”

    Me: “I think if you try with the chip and it fails, it will give you the option to swipe.”

    (It looks like the manager isn’t listening to me. I notice him cancel the transaction and ring it up again, and then swipe my card.)

    Me: “That might not work. You have to let the chip error happen first and it’ll give the option—”

    Manager: “Nope, it says you have to use the chip. With these chip cards, you can’t swipe them. See?”

    (He turns the terminal over to me so I can see the message.)

    Terminal: “Chip card. Please insert.”

    Me: “Um, may I try?”

    (With a sigh, he hands me my credit card, saying again that it won’t work. I take it and insert it into the chip reader.)

    Terminal: “Chip error. Remove card.”

    (I remove the card.)

    Terminal: “Use magstripe.”

    (I swipe the card, ignoring the manager continuing to say I’m wasting time.)

    Terminal: “Press ‘Enter’ to override chip requirement.”

    (I press Enter.)

    Terminal: “Input last four digits of card.”

    (I input the digits.)

    Terminal: “Transaction approved.”

    (The manager stares, speechless as the receipt prints. He then walks away quickly, refusing to look at me.)

    Cashier: “Whoa! I didn’t know you could do that! Guess you learn something new every day. Do you work with these machines in your job or something?”

    Me: “Uh… no.”

    Cashier: “Then how did you know how to make it work?”

    Me: “I, um… read the instructions on the screen?”

    The Importance Of Ignorance

    | MA, USA | Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (In my restaurant’s POS machine, the ‘grill dry’ prep option means to grill bread without butter. This happens with a cook who is somewhat new, but doesn’t seem to be learning anything. I put in an order for two sandwiches, grilled dry. They come out practically dripping with butter.)

    Me: “[Cook], did you put butter on these? I entered them as ‘grill dry.’”

    Cook: “Oh, yeah. I didn’t know what that was so I figured it wasn’t important.”

    If They Weren’t Disgruntled Before…

    | OK, USA | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (We’ve picked up a new privacy and security employee. He’s very gung-ho, but seems to lack any real understanding of how things work in IT departments and aims for change just to say that he did something.)

    P&S Employee: “So what we need to do is restrict the ability of anyone making changes to the production database so that it is secure.”

    Me: “We’ve already locked it down as far as we can logically take it. You can’t remove the access any further without making it impossible for the batch programs to run against the database.”

    P&S Employee: “But we need to guard against the possibility of a disgruntled employee making changes.”

    Me: “And we’ve done that as far as it can go.”

    P&S Employee: “But you could still make a change to the database that wasn’t authorized.”

    Me: “As could anyone in the system administrators group or any of the database administrators.”

    P&S Employee: “What if we developed a process where you had to have approval to do it?”

    Me: “We already seek approval for any changes outside of normal business needs. And even if it is a process, that doesn’t prevent anyone from doing it.”

    P&S Employee: “We could switch it out of the developers group and into the business administration group.”

    Me: “That wouldn’t work at all. The business administration group doesn’t have the technical knowledge on how to do anything like that. Furthermore, you are expanding the number of people who would have the ability to make changes to the production database. And the business administration group is far more of a disgruntled group then we are.”

    P&S Employee: “But if you became disgruntled you could still make changes.”

    Me: “Why is it that you think that I’m the one who is going to be disgruntled?”

    P&S Employee: “It could happen!”


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