• Larry (unregistered)
    Multitrode decided to roll out some fancy new web application for submitting insurance claims and somehow Initech got hired to support it.

    Of course, Multitrode didn't write this new application themselves, a development firm did that for them. Initech just managed the servers

    Back when I was your age, spaghetti code was the curse of the industry. Random gotos pointing anywhere. Branching into the middle of subroutines, or out.

    Then came lasagna apps. Layer upon layer of abstraction so deep nobody knew how it really worked -- if it did. Before you could dig down to the meat you had to scrape aside tons of moldy cheese.

    Now we have onion corporations. No one really does anything. They just contract with someone else to do it. And if you peel away that shell (tearfully) you find another contact handing off responsibility but skimming some of the dollars.

    It's turtles all the way down! Recursion FTW!

  • Recursive Reclusive (unregistered) in reply to Larry

    "lasagna apps" - I like that. Good metaphor.

  • QJo (unregistered)

    Or a moussaka application.

    On the surface, crispy well-cooked and nicely-browned bechamel UI potatoes.

    Under the cover a chaotic, steaming brown stew of completely unknown composition, complete with a few stout black pubic hairs full of bugs.

  • QJo (unregistered)

    Hang on a minute, here's TRWTF:

    Client: "So... when can I expect to hear back from you?"
    SJ: (mumbled) "No idea."
    Client: "Pardon?"
    SJ: "They should get back to you within a day or two."
    Client: "The form's due on Thursday, will it be done by then?"
    SJ, completely winging it: "Well if it takes too long to fix, we can put an exemption in the system for you."
    

    That's a customer on the other end of the phone there. Just because of the management cockup that has led to this situation is no call to be flippant with them.

  • Smug Unix User (unregistered) in reply to QJo

    Most customers don't like it when you tell them communication is one way. Every customer hates being lied to.

  • Remy Porter (cs) in reply to QJo

    I think it's safe to say that the dialogue features some artistic license.

  • GettinSadda (cs)

    Why didn't he just take to answering the phone with something like "Hello, Support Line, how can I help you?"

  • TheSHEEEP (unregistered)

    Okay. That procedure is not optimal, but... where is the WTF?

  • Meep (unregistered)
    It was easy but meaningful work.
    Multitrode Insurance was one of the Initech's bigger clients - a state insurance firm that did data tracking and risk analysis and whatever else big insurance firms do, for a bunch of other insurance firms.
    So, TRWTF is that for this guy work has to be "meaningful," but if it's a big company, he's not going to ask anyone what it is they're doing.
  • Andrew (unregistered) in reply to TheSHEEEP
    TheSHEEEP:
    Okay. That procedure is not optimal, but... where is the WTF?
    I don't get it either. Many of us have worked on shitty corporate apps before, and everyone outsources their customer/client support to India. Unless I'm not seeing something, this is not a WTF.
  • LoremIpsumDolorSitAmet (cs)

    Nope... I can't see the WTF either.

    I was going to guess that there was some process at Initech that was supposed to convert and send the support tickets to Multitrode, but it stopped working, nobody noticed, and the developers never fixed any of the bugs.

    Instead, it turned out to be a tale about someone who got an extra responsibility, they dealt with it, and the product eventually got better over time, and everything was back to normal. Sounds far too happy to me.

  • foo (unregistered) in reply to Remy Porter
    Remy Porter:
    I think it's safe to say that the dialogue features some artistic license.
    Well, are we supposed to comment on what's written or read the editor's mind?
  • Balu (unregistered) in reply to Larry
    Larry:
    Back when I was your age, spaghetti code was the curse of the industry. Random gotos pointing anywhere.

    In The World According To SpectateSwamp this is the wet dream of any Desktop Search developer! Random is the key!

    (Captcha: ludus - yes, it's a game)

  • @Deprecated (cs)
    For SJ, and others, one question remained: "Why can't the customers call the developer directly?"

    Development Rule #1: Never give your contact information directly to customers if it can at all be avoided.

    That only leads to 2 am calls: "Mister Smith-uh san, pleees?"

  • daef (unregistered)

    click on "why can't the customers..." :-)

  • Buggz (cs)
    For SJ, and others, one question remained: "Why can't the customers call the developer directly?"
    Because you need some with people skills. Someone who is good at dealing with people. Can't you see that? What the hell is wrong with you people!?
  • Pista (unregistered) in reply to TheSHEEEP
    TheSHEEEP:
    Okay. That procedure is not optimal, but... where is the WTF?

    The WTF is that the above situation tends to become a standard.

  • ubersoldat (cs)

    ActiveX is TRWTF... or TWTF since there are none in this story.

    What a crappy way to end your existence thedailywtf.com. You've got until tomorrow to get even with us Alex.

    BTW, does any one know at what time/timezone is the world supposed to end? Because if I'm not mistaken, in New Zeland is already Dec. 21st by now.

    Addendum (2012-12-20 10:25): New Zealand you grammar nazis.

    TRWTF is Chrome's spell checker.

  • Maya (unregistered) in reply to ubersoldat
    ubersoldat:
    BTW, does any one know at what time/timezone is the world supposed to end? Because if I'm not mistaken, in New Zeland is already Dec. 21st by now.
    And do you have any proof that New Zealand still exists?
  • campkev (cs) in reply to Andrew
    Andrew:
    TheSHEEEP:
    Okay. That procedure is not optimal, but... where is the WTF?
    I don't get it either. Many of us have worked on shitty corporate apps before, and everyone outsources their customer/client support to India. Unless I'm not seeing something, this is not a WTF.

    If this was story was a porno, it would go like this:

    Pizza delivery guy knocks on door. Scantily clad woman opens door. PDG: Here's your pizza ma'am. That will be $15.00 SCW: <seductively putting="" the="" money="" in="" his="" shirt="" pocket=""> I'm so glad you're here, I've been dying for some sausage. PDG: Then why did you order the veggie lovers?<shakes his="" head="" in="" confusion="" and="" walks="" away=""><p> <p>End of movie</p> </shakes></seductively>

  • OldCoder (unregistered) in reply to QJo
    QJo:
    Hang on a minute, here's TRWTF:
    Client: "So... when can I expect to hear back from you?"
    SJ: (mumbled) "No idea."
    Client: "Pardon?"
    SJ: "They should get back to you within a day or two."
    Client: "The form's due on Thursday, will it be done by then?"
    SJ, completely winging it: "Well if it takes too long to fix, we can put an exemption in the system for you."
    

    That's a customer on the other end of the phone there. Just because of the management cockup that has led to this situation is no call to be flippant with them.

    Er, no. Multitrode is Initech's customer, not some random Insurance guy.

    Granted, he should have perhaps been more polite to the guy but perhaps being polite involves paying him more money.

  • operagost (cs) in reply to Larry
    Larry:
    Multitrode decided to roll out some fancy new web application for submitting insurance claims and somehow Initech got hired to support it.

    Of course, Multitrode didn't write this new application themselves, a development firm did that for them. Initech just managed the servers

    Back when I was your age, spaghetti code was the curse of the industry. Random gotos pointing anywhere. Branching into the middle of subroutines, or out.

    Then came lasagna apps. Layer upon layer of abstraction so deep nobody knew how it really worked -- if it did. Before you could dig down to the meat you had to scrape aside tons of moldy cheese.

    Now we have onion corporations. No one really does anything. They just contract with someone else to do it. And if you peel away that shell (tearfully) you find another contact handing off responsibility but skimming some of the dollars.

    It's turtles all the way down! Recursion FTW!

    Well, you just gave me a great idea for dealing with this whitespace truncation problem I have.

  • campkev (cs) in reply to OldCoder
    OldCoder:
    QJo:
    Hang on a minute, here's TRWTF:
    Client: "So... when can I expect to hear back from you?"
    SJ: (mumbled) "No idea."
    Client: "Pardon?"
    SJ: "They should get back to you within a day or two."
    Client: "The form's due on Thursday, will it be done by then?"
    SJ, completely winging it: "Well if it takes too long to fix, we can put an exemption in the system for you."
    

    That's a customer on the other end of the phone there. Just because of the management cockup that has led to this situation is no call to be flippant with them.

    Er, no. Multitrode is Initech's customer, not some random Insurance guy.

    Granted, he should have perhaps been more polite to the guy but perhaps being polite involves paying him more money.

    Er, no. That's the customer that he's getting paid to take calls from and support. If I was SJ's supervisor and overhead that conversation, I would have had a talk with him about how to speak to the customer and creating unrealistic expectations. SJ's handling of that conversation was as big a WTF as the supposed WTF in the story.

  • camelotbob (unregistered)

    Where is the wtf?

  • m (unregistered)

    Did anyone else notice that SJ's name changed to CJ?

  • TheSHEEEP (unregistered)

    What is that New Zealand you speak of?

  • eVil (unregistered)

    "Why can't the customers call the developer directly?"

    Given that the vast majority of users of this site are developers, what percentage of visitors reading this line don't immediately answer along the lines of:

    "Because we've got important and difficult shit to do, which doesn't involve discussing the technological difficulties of luddites."

    The real wtf is that some companies have the customers interupting their developers.

  • eVil (unregistered) in reply to QJo
    QJo:
    Or a moussaka application.

    On the surface, crispy well-cooked and nicely-browned bechamel UI potatoes.

    Under the cover a chaotic, steaming brown stew of completely unknown composition, complete with a few stout black pubic hairs full of bugs.

    Hmm... you should probably upgrade your chef/wife/mother, if you're finding their pubic hairs in your dinner... with or without the crabs.

  • neminem (unregistered) in reply to campkev
    campkev:
    Andrew:
    TheSHEEEP:
    Okay. That procedure is not optimal, but... where is the WTF?
    I don't get it either. Many of us have worked on shitty corporate apps before, and everyone outsources their customer/client support to India. Unless I'm not seeing something, this is not a WTF.

    If this was story was a porno, it would go like this:

    Pizza delivery guy knocks on door. Scantily clad woman opens door. PDG: Here's your pizza ma'am. That will be $15.00 SCW: <seductively putting="" the="" money="" in="" his="" shirt="" pocket=""> I'm so glad you're here, I've been dying for some sausage. PDG: Then why did you order the veggie lovers?<shakes his="" head="" in="" confusion="" and="" walks="" away=""><p> <p>End of movie</shakes></seductively>

    You've never seen PG Porn? That's sort of how it goes, and it is hilarious. So no, this story wasn't like that, it wasn't as amusing.

  • Rodnas (unregistered) in reply to TheSHEEEP
    TheSHEEEP:
    What is that New Zealand you speak of?

    Never mind, it is probably gone by now. The 12-21-2012 doomsday hits New Zealand first I imagine.

  • Rodnas (unregistered) in reply to Rodnas
    Rodnas:
    TheSHEEEP:
    What is that New Zealand you speak of?

    Never mind, it is probably gone by now. The 12-21-2012 doomsday hits New Zealand first I imagine.

    Oops, I should have read all the comments before posting. This is very much like RTFM. We apologize for inconvenience.

  • ASalazar (unregistered) in reply to daef

    Even if it wasn't a link, I did as you said. I wholeheartedly approve.

  • Boomer (unregistered)

    Multitrode = mib.com

  • (i|=J7}Y&.`Gb) (unregistered) in reply to Larry

    So what do you call a network of daemons that interact with each other over multiple machines. Where each daemon is 5 lines of code and 1000 lines of boiler plate and you can tell what each daemon is doing but don't know who's telling him to do what?

  • Jim (unregistered) in reply to Larry

    [quote user="Larry"][quote] Now we have onion corporations. No one really does anything. They just contract with someone else to do it. And if you peel away that shell (tearfully) you find another contact handing off responsibility but skimming some of the dollars.

    It's turtles all the way down! Recursion FTW![/quote]

    I don't know about onion corps... onion at least make you cry, and taste good in burgers... I thinks it more like Matryoshka corporations, they all look good on the outside, but look deep enough and you just have a another dol....

  • jay (unregistered) in reply to foo
    foo:
    Remy Porter:
    I think it's safe to say that the dialogue features some artistic license.
    Well, are we supposed to comment on what's written or read the editor's mind?

    How long have you been in this business? Have you ever SEEN a real requirements document? Of course you have to read the author's mind and not go by what's written.

  • Steven (unregistered) in reply to Maya

    I don't have any proof that New Zealand ever existed.

  • jay (unregistered)

    Wow, the pickings must be getting light.

    IT company is presented with a mildly difficult problem. They muddle through and everything turns out basically okay. Nothing dramatic or funny or even mildly amusing happens. The End.

  • jay (unregistered) in reply to Steven
    Steven:
    I don't have any proof that New Zealand ever existed.

    You have to look it up under "Kiwi".

  • da Doctah (cs) in reply to Andrew
    Andrew:
    TheSHEEEP:
    Okay. That procedure is not optimal, but... where is the WTF?
    I don't get it either. Many of us have worked on shitty corporate apps before, and everyone outsources their customer/client support to India. Unless I'm not seeing something, this is not a WTF.
    Maybe SJ stands for Satyanatha Jaharwalal.
  • HowItWorks (unregistered) in reply to Buggz
    Buggz:
    For SJ, and others, one question remained: "Why can't the customers call the developer directly?"
    Because you need some with people skills. Someone who is good at dealing with people. Can't you see that? What the hell is wrong with you people!?
    Plagiarism !!! You have failed English Composition 101 and are expelled for presenting this as yours without properly quoting and attributing the source material.

    (Great movie, still watch it occasionally.)

  • Matt Westwood (cs) in reply to (i|=J7}Y&.`Gb)
    (i|=J7}Y&.`Gb):
    So what do you call a network of daemons that interact with each other over multiple machines. Where each daemon is 5 lines of code and 1000 lines of boiler plate and you can tell what each daemon is doing but don't know who's telling him to do what?
    Um ... a dollop of spunk?

    Sorry, that's "jizm" for you across the water.

  • HowItWorks (unregistered) in reply to ubersoldat
    ubersoldat:
    BTW, does any one know at what time/timezone is the world supposed to end? Because if I'm not mistaken, in New Zeland is already Dec. 21st by now.
    My understanding is Winter Solstice (for those of us in N, Summer Solstice for S)

    That is at 21 Dec 2012 11:12 UTC

  • HowItWorks (unregistered) in reply to HowItWorks
    HowItWorks:
    ubersoldat:
    BTW, does any one know at what time/timezone is the world supposed to end? Because if I'm not mistaken, in New Zeland is already Dec. 21st by now.
    My understanding is Winter Solstice (for those of us in N, Summer Solstice for S)

    That is at 21 Dec 2012 11:12 UTC

    fyi, your reading this so you are not among the enraptured.
  • Steve Holdoway (unregistered) in reply to Maya
    Maya:
    ubersoldat:
    BTW, does any one know at what time/timezone is the world supposed to end? Because if I'm not mistaken, in New Zeland is already Dec. 21st by now.
    And do you have any proof that New Zealand still exists?

    Yup, I'm looking at it through the window as I type. Rumors of demise are grossly exaggerated.

    So far...

  • Yet Another Steve (unregistered) in reply to Steven
    Steven:
    I don't have any proof that New Zealand ever existed.

    of course you do... It's where the LOTR and The Hobbit were filmed... (What do you mean those weren't documentaries?)

  • Daniel (unregistered) in reply to ubersoldat
    ubersoldat:
    BTW, does any one know at what time/timezone is the world supposed to end? Because if I'm not mistaken, in New Zeland is already Dec. 21st by now.

    Addendum (2012-12-20 10:25): New Zealand you grammar nazis.

    That would be grammar zealots.

  • nonpartisan (cs) in reply to HowItWorks
    HowItWorks:
    fyi, your reading this so you are not among the enraptured.
    In case of rapture Community Server will still exist.
  • neminem (unregistered) in reply to ubersoldat
    ubersoldat:
    BTW, does any one know at what time/timezone is the world supposed to end? Because if I'm not mistaken, in New Zeland is already Dec. 21st by now.
    I would assume, given the whole thing started as the result of (misinterpreting) the Mayan calendar, and given the Mayan empire extended from parts of Mexico through parts of Central America, which is in Central time, that if the world really were going to end at that date, it would be reasonable to use Central time for the timezone.
  • A Nerd With a View (unregistered) in reply to Larry

    Sounds more like Italian food all the way down... FTW!

    I just had a delicious meatball sandwich for lunch, too. Yum!

Leave a comment on “Circuitous Support”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article