Remember being a kid, collecting Bazooka Joe wrappers to get a sweet knife that you could use to have dangerous, life-threatening fun with your friends? Then waiting by the mailbox for an agonizing six to eight weeks?

In this post-9/11 world, I'm sure that Bazooka Joe isn't sending knives to kids in the mail anymore (based on a combined zero hours of research between Alex and me). Their prizes still take six to eight weeks to deliver, though, and Todd C. now knows why. Todd brings us a WTF from his daughter, who we'll call Yvonne. And just to get it out of the way, no, I don't have any pictures of her. Perverts.

Todd managed to get Yvonne a job doing data entry for ApplianceCorp (as we'll call it). ApplianceCorp was owned by a large local appliance chain, and was responsible for the online portion of the business. ApplianceCorp was based out of the same building that Todd worked in. Despite their busy work schedules, Todd and Yvonne managed to meet for lunch daily. A few days into her new job, Todd asked how it was going.

"Dad, it's crazy how they do things. I don't know how they stay in business."

"Why do you say that," asked Todd.

She described her daily responsibilities, and I'll reduce this as much as possible. First, online orders would be submitted to Yahoo, then Yahoo faxed them to ApplianceCorp. The information would be sent to Yvonne, who would reenter it in a proprietary system. She'd manually call to verify the card, fill out another order form, which was faxed to the parent company's warehouse. If the item wasn't in stock at the warehouse, she'd search local stores, place an order, and then... Ahh, screw it. Here's a flowchart:

Now you know why it's six to eight weeks, and hopefully you can understand why it takes that much time.

ApplianceCorp does about $3 million a month in sales, however, and employs five full-time developers to keep the web site up to date. These developers are responsible for manually adding and removing products and applying price changes, all without a database.

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