• Jonathan (unregistered)

    Ahhh... what a nice story.

    P.S. The real WTF is this forum under Konquerer

  • mop414 (cs)

    Ferdy did forget Rule #1 - Get the coffee first!

  • Mike Nuss (unregistered)

    Nice going. He probably cost those guys their jobs!

  • Doug (unregistered)

    I can only think of one word:

    ** HURRAH!! **

  • Zonkers (cs)

    Nice story. That's some well deserved coffee.

  • hung (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Doug (unregistered) in reply to Mike Nuss
    Mike Nuss:
    Nice going. He probably cost those guys their jobs!

    If that was my job he lost for me, I would STILL buy him the coffee.

    (captha: "tastey" as in "tasty coffee")

  • mav (unregistered)

    sniffle thats cute.

    CAPTCHA: poindexter

    C'mon now, isn't it just a bit crazy making me enter a 10 character word?

  • sjs (unregistered) in reply to mav
    mav:
    *sniffle* thats cute.

    CAPTCHA: poindexter

    C'mon now, isn't it just a bit crazy making me enter a 10 character word?

    Yet you voluntarily typed it again in your message, then proceeded to bitch about it costing you an additional 50-ish keystrokes. Well done moron.

  • Alex (unregistered)

    Louis and Frans now spend all their spare time trying to figure out how to calibrate the handful of devices that truly didn't need to be calibrated - i.e. the "99" was legitimate...

  • jojotdfb (cs)

    While nice, what about the devices that don't need to be calibrated and should have had the date 99?

  • gerrr (unregistered) in reply to mav
    mav:
    C'mon now, isn't it just a bit crazy making me enter a 10 character word?

    apparently it wasn't long enough :o

  • Peter Harrison (unregistered)

    I once had a job to write an application which tracked time and movement of window makers (real windows - not the computer variety). The software was a great success, and the employers were able to pay people based on output based on the analysis from the software.

    The good thing is that the slow half of the workforce was now paid less, and therefore left. Basically it was used to push the workers harder and eliminate those who didn't perform 100%. Good for the companies concerned, not so good for the workers.

  • Michael (unregistered) in reply to Alex
    Alex:
    Louis and Frans now spend all their spare time trying to figure out how to calibrate the handful of devices that truly didn't need to be calibrated - i.e. the "99" was legitimate...
    jojotdfb:
    While nice, what about the devices that don't need to be calibrated and should have had the date 99?
    Did you guys not even read the article? Every device with a date of "99" had to be changed to "50". "50" was the new "doesn't need to be calibrated" date.
  • Paul Nieuwkamp (unregistered) in reply to Alex
    Alex:
    Louis and Frans now spend all their spare time trying to figure out how to calibrate the handful of devices that truly didn't need to be calibrated - i.e. the "99" was legitimate...
    jojotdfb:
    While nice, what about the devices that don't need to be calibrated and should have had the date 99?
    Those were the only ones changed, to 50 in stead of 99. The only legitimate 99s were the ones that did not need calibration.

    The story does not say if the need for calibration (i.e. checking the 'date') was automated, but since it is the manufacturer of the software who recommended (not dictated) first 99 and then 50, I presume this is done manually as well.

    So in stead of looking for '99' to see if it needs to be calibrated, you look for '50'.

  • Tod K (unregistered) in reply to gerrr
    gerrr:
    mav:
    C'mon now, isn't it just a bit crazy making me enter a 10 character word?

    apparently it wasn't long enough :o

    Now that was bril - I want to say 'brilliant' but that's too many letters. I actually did laugh out loud.

    100 internets to you, Sir!

    =Tod

  • muttonchop (unregistered)

    A couple years back a friend of mine got a government consulting job doing "Digital Records Management": going through all the folders on a shared drive and replacing the 5-digit identification numbers that were appended to each filename with their new 6-digit counterparts. He did this manually for a couple days and then hired me to write a perl script.

  • Ilya (unregistered) in reply to Michael

    I think what they meant is "what about devices that have to be calibrated in '99."

    As in, it is possible that some devices should have been calibrated in 1999 but now will have to wait till 2050. As a result, faulty nuclear-warhead carrying rockets will be designed and constructed. These rockets will simultaneously automatically launch and aim at major cities around the globe irradiating tens of million of innocent people. So, while some may think that Fred's little query running was harmless, in fact, his irresponsible actions will cost life of a many person.

    Captcha: craaazy - that's what they all say!

  • Ilya (unregistered) in reply to Michael

    I think what they meant is "what about devices that have to be calibrated in '99."

    As in, it is possible that some devices should have been calibrated in 1999 but now will have to wait till 2050. As a result, faulty nuclear-warhead carrying rockets will be designed and constructed. These rockets will simultaneously automatically launch and aim at major cities around the globe irradiating tens of million of innocent people. So, while some may think that Fred's little query running was harmless, in fact, his irresponsible actions will cost life of a many person.

    Captcha: craaazy - that's what they all say!

  • Healthcare IT (unregistered)

    This sounds like my job, only the "vendor" turns out to be most of my coworkers and also all of my (multiple) vendors. "Hey, guys, any chance we can take this simple Excel spreadsheet and upload it into your SQL Server database?" response: "KILL THE BLASPHEMER! TAKE OUT HIS TONGUE BEFORE HE UTTERS MORE BLASPHEMY"

    Anyway, that's how it feels sometimes.

  • Gedoon (unregistered) in reply to Paul Nieuwkamp
    Paul Nieuwkamp:
    Those were the only ones changed, to 50 in stead of 99. The only legitimate 99s were the ones that did not need calibration.

    ...

    So in stead of looking for '99' to see if it needs to be calibrated, you look for '50'.

    In stead? You suck ^____^

  • zip (cs) in reply to sjs
    sjs:
    mav:
    *sniffle* thats cute.

    CAPTCHA: poindexter

    C'mon now, isn't it just a bit crazy making me enter a 10 character word?

    Yet you voluntarily typed it again in your message, then proceeded to bitch about it costing you an additional 50-ish keystrokes. Well done moron.

    QFT, captcha whores.

  • maht (unregistered) in reply to Jonathan

    Surely the most recent year that has passed i.e. 96 rather than 50.

    That gives you an extra 45 years to get the job done next time.

  • mav (unregistered) in reply to gerrr
    gerrr:
    mav:
    C'mon now, isn't it just a bit crazy making me enter a 10 character word?

    apparently it wasn't long enough :o

    oh snap! i just got owned.

  • ElQuberto (unregistered)

    He should of calibrated it to 30 so that he'll have a job like this when he wants to retire

  • wizzard (cs)

    I'm surprised he didn't get fired for this, because that's how most of these good deeds seem to go...

  • Mr Steve (unregistered)

    scary thing is that you still hear of jobs that equally as pointless (not usually related to IT though)

    he should have snuck in after hours and changed all of them back to 99

    then tell the 2 old dudes it was only a temporary fix, if they want it to be permanent then they'll have to do it manually

  • Tofino (unregistered) in reply to Mr Steve
    Mr Steve:
    scary thing is that you still hear of jobs that equally as pointless (not usually related to IT though)

    he should have snuck in after hours and changed all of them back to 99

    then tell the 2 old dudes it was only a temporary fix, if they want it to be permanent then they'll have to pay him in small bills

    Fixed and nothing to add except CAPTCHA: muhahaha

  • tamosius (unregistered) in reply to wizzard
    wizzard:
    I'm surprised he didn't get fired for this, because that's how most of these good deeds seem to go...

    the tale doesn't tell whether they "kept it loud" or quiet. I think they just did it quietly, and all 3 of them lived long, and happily...

  • Jon (unregistered) in reply to Gedoon
    Gedoon:
    Paul Nieuwkamp:
    So in stead of looking for '99' to see if it needs to be calibrated, you look for '50'.
    In stead? You suck ^____^
    'Instead' is an abbreviation of 'in stead'. Please look up 'stead' in a dictionary.
  • MrsPost (unregistered)

    But.. did he ever get his coffee?

    I can't be left hanging like that!

  • Eric (unregistered)

    Bravo.

    I love getting a chance to do something like that.

  • AnthonyG (cs)

    That was truly touching.

  • Holli (unregistered) in reply to Alex
    Alex:
    Louis and Frans now spend all their spare time trying to figure out how to calibrate the handful of devices that truly didn't need to be calibrated - i.e. the "99" was legitimate...
    I'm sure they would be intelligent enough to realize it's nearly the same problem and go and ask for help.
  • clbuttic (unregistered)

    MeaningleBneB.aspx? What's up with that?

  • Xythar (unregistered) in reply to clbuttic
    clbuttic:
    MeaningleBneB.aspx? What's up with that?

    I can only assume it has something to do with the hard "s" sound in German being written with a beta symbol (an alternative is "ss" when the beta is not available), which looks a little like an uppercase B. Why TDWTF decided to do this for the filename is beyond me however.

  • Russ (unregistered) in reply to Jonathan
    Comment held for moderation.
  • nice story (unregistered)

    Wow, a true WTF with a feelgood ending, you don't see those every day.

  • Onanymous Coward (unregistered) in reply to Xythar
    Xythar:
    I can only assume it has something to do with the hard "s" sound in German being written with a beta symbol (an alternative is "ss" when the beta is not available)

    No! ß and ß are two entirely different letters, they are not to be substituted with each other! Yes, it's been done, but that doesn't make it any less wrong...

  • Steve (unregistered)

    This is one reason why I'm personally happy to work in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

    I came here more than fifteen years ago, not really intending to stay for more than a couple of years. One of the first projects on which I worked involved developing some imaging and animation tools and I really didn't think too much about it until I happened to be chatting with the scientist involved. He mentioned that the visualizations I was doing helped him see new things and he mentioned that it added to our understanding of Alzheimer's Disease. While, from a computer graphics standpoint, what I did was no great shakes, it was a moment when I realized that instead of just cranking out widgets, I was actually, in a small way, helping to do some real good in this world.

    There's no cure yet, but we're working on it.

    While sometimes the work here is a big pain in the rear and I realize that the monetary rewards aren't as great as being in "industry", I still find myself entering the building in the morning with a big smile on my face, knowing that I'm very privileged to get to do something that will (I hope) eventually benefit my fellow humans.

    If you feel the work you're doing is meaningless, c'mon over here -- we've got tons of meaningful work to do. And a lot of the time it's even fun.

  • Joseph Newton (unregistered) in reply to hung
    Comment held for moderation.
  • mbessey (cs) in reply to clbuttic
    clbuttic:
    MeaningleBneB.aspx? What's up with that?
    As mentioned, in German, the Eszett character (ß) is replaced with "ss" when the proper glyph isn't available in a typeface.

    I've seen some (patently defective) software do the reverse translation, especially when "lower-casing" or "upper-casing" strings containing "ß". At a guess, some piece of software "translated" this on the way from the submission to appearing on the site, then some other braindead routine translated the 'ß' into a 'B'.

    That is, indeed, the True WTF here. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%9F for way too many details on the history and usage of this character.

  • mbessey (cs)
    He backed up the database files, ran a single query, and in a matter of seconds, all 30,000 of the “99”-dated records were now “50.”

    He took a trip back to the room labeled “Stock” and replaced the notes at Louis and Frans’s computer: “Louis and Frans, please remember to use your spare time to buy the intern coffee.”

    I've done this sort of thing a couple of times in my career (once just recently, actually), and the feeling of having rescued someone from an inhumanely boring and ultimately pointless task is pretty fantastic.

    It's a nice balance to the (very rough approximation) 500 or so people who've lost their highly-paid manufacturing jobs due to the work I did at a former employer.

  • Havoc (unregistered)

    In regards to the two of them losing their jobs because of the software, the article states that this whole 'changing of the dates' assignment was in addition to their existing job of actually calibrating the devices that needed it. So from that point on they actually had time to do their job and enjoy some free time. Can't see why someone would be angry over that.

  • eldark (cs)

    reminds me of a certain tv-script ... xD

    oh, nevermind

  • asfawfweaf (unregistered) in reply to Peter Harrison
    Peter Harrison:
    I once had a job to write an application which tracked time and movement of window makers (real windows - not the computer variety). The software was a great success, and the employers were able to pay people based on output based on the analysis from the software.

    The good thing is that the slow half of the workforce was now paid less, and therefore left. Basically it was used to push the workers harder and eliminate those who didn't perform 100%. Good for the companies concerned, not so good for the workers.

    Am I missing something here? Wouldn't there always be a "slow half" based on the analysis? So once those workers left, there would still be a slow half, just with different employees, some of whom were part of the "fast half" previously?

  • Mike (unregistered) in reply to Ilya
    Ilya:
    I think what they meant is "what about devices that have to be calibrated in '99."

    As in, it is possible that some devices should have been calibrated in 1999 but now will have to wait till 2050. As a result, faulty nuclear-warhead carrying rockets will be designed and constructed. These rockets will simultaneously automatically launch and aim at major cities around the globe irradiating tens of million of innocent people. So, while some may think that Fred's little query running was harmless, in fact, his irresponsible actions will cost life of a many person.

    Captcha: craaazy - that's what they all say!

    In Soviet Russia, 99 calibrates you!

  • bob (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Id rather be sleeping (unregistered)

    This sort of stuff still goes on today, I guess because people still have trouble with the equation: "Mindless repetitive computer task usually involving excel" = "can be automated".

    I'm reminded of a time a few years back when I was between contracts and was asked to help out at a site in order to get brownie points for my then pimp^D^D^D^Dcontracting firm. The task: Manually go through apx 300 6000+ line excel spreadsheets doing some cross referencing to another 30 spreadsheets and manually generating some exception and summary reports.

    The job had been going on for some 8 weeks with 2 full time employees bashing away. It was estimated I would be there for another 2. It took 1/2 day of slogging through one of the spreadsheets to figure out the relevant business rules.

    The rest of the day was spent knocking up a nasty access database which I ran the next morning. There were a few easy fix errors (caused by crap data in excel (who knew?!)) and 2 weeks worth of processing and reports was done.

    Because I had no net access, didn't need the money, oh yeh, and am a very ethical person, I dumped the reports on the supervisors desk and turned to leave. (Wasn't allowed to of course, she couldn't believe that the work was finished so quickly and it obviously wasn't correct. She insisted on doing random checks for the next few hours to find some mistakes - there was only one, due to some bad data and no 'rules' to handle it)

    Id like to say that I don't come across this stuff anymore, but where there is excel and admin staff, there is gross inefficiency..

  • foxyshadis (cs) in reply to asfawfweaf
    asfawfweaf:
    Peter Harrison:
    I once had a job to write an application which tracked time and movement of window makers (real windows - not the computer variety). The software was a great success, and the employers were able to pay people based on output based on the analysis from the software.

    The good thing is that the slow half of the workforce was now paid less, and therefore left. Basically it was used to push the workers harder and eliminate those who didn't perform 100%. Good for the companies concerned, not so good for the workers.

    Am I missing something here? Wouldn't there always be a "slow half" based on the analysis? So once those workers left, there would still be a slow half, just with different employees, some of whom were part of the "fast half" previously?
    You read way too much into the procedure; unless a company desires to drive all but the very top employee out of the company, they won't be paid based only on what half they fall in. Instead, they're paid on raw performance, which correlates perfectly with the top/botton halves, since they're the same measure. I don't know how anyone could come to the conclusion that they were getting paid by the half they were in, unless they lacked basic analysis skills or were being intentionally dense.

    (blah blah tl;dr whatever)

Leave a comment on “Meaninglessness”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article