• Jordan Wages (unregistered)

I literally cried I laughed so hard at the 'getting' complaint.

• MG (unregistered)

Why recurse when you can use a linked list? :)

```#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

struct rus_row {
long left;
long right;
struct rus_row *next;
};
int main(int, char **);
long rus_multiply(long, long, int);
struct rus_row *make_row(long, long, struct rus_row *);
void rus_freemem(struct rus_row *);

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
if (argc != 3) {
printf("Usage: %s <num> <num>\n", argv[0]);
exit(1);
}
long a = atol(argv[1]);
long b = atol(argv[2]);
long result = rus_multiply(a, b, 1);
return 0;
}

long rus_multiply(long a, long b, int print) {
long total = 0;

struct rus_row *head = make_row(a, b, NULL);
while(tail->left > 1) {
struct rus_row *new_row = make_row(tail->left / 2, tail->right * 2, NULL);
tail->next = new_row;
tail = tail->next;
}
while (curr) {
if (curr->left & 1) {
// odd
if (print) {
printf ("%ld\t%ld\t+ %ld\n", curr->left, curr->right, curr->right);
}
total = total + curr->right;

} else {
// even
if (print) {
printf ("%ld\t%ld\n", curr->left, curr->right);
}
}
curr = curr->next;
}
if (print) {
printf ("\t\t-----\n\t\t= %ld\n", total);
}
}

struct rus_row *make_row(long left, long right, struct rus_row *next) {
struct rus_row *row = (struct rus_row *) malloc(sizeof(struct rus_row));  //todo:  check for malloc failure
row->left = left;
row->right = right;
row->next = next;
return row;
}

while (next) {
struct rus_row *curr = next;
next = curr->next;
free(curr);
}
}
```

captcha = minim, the amount of effort I put into this.

• (cs) in reply to Justin

(Why doesn't the delete link work on a post? What's the point of having it?)

• anon (unregistered) in reply to heretic
heretic:
Heron:
When I was a CS rep for DirecTV several years ago, they told us during training that people would be stupid about following directions, and that the only thing to do was be patient and do whatever possible to get them to follow our directions.

That often resulted in conversations like this:

Me: "Ok, we need to reset your receiver. Unplug it, wait 20 seconds, then plug it back in." Customer: "Ok." (20 seconds go by) "Nothing happened." Me: "Did the lights on the receiver turn off?" Customer: "No." Me: "Did you unplug it?" Customer: "No." Me: headdesk

Did it ever occur to you that the people on the other end of your conversation had already deduced that a receiver reset would not solve the problem because they had already done that five times over the past two days? And that why they waited two days was because they were trying to avoid the pain and suffering inflicted by Customer Service reps who could be replaced by trained zombie monkeys without losing functionality?

No, if that was the case, the customer would have said Yes to both questions... Anyone smart enough to have already done the basic troubleshooting is smart enough to lie when asking to repeat said troubleshooting by a customer support rep.

• MG (unregistered) in reply to MG

Wow. I am pretty sure I was commenting to the damn Russian Peasant Multiplication article.

• (cs) in reply to Justin
Justin:
Since there was some confusion about the definition...

http://tinyurl.com/mugw2j

Lead me here. Great article, thanks for sharing.

• (cs)

When I write procedures I expect stupid/lying users.

Case in point. In the troubleshooting manual:

Question regarding keyboard errors:

"Did you spill something it?"

Resolution:

If they waffle, they did.

Sadly it was true every single time.

• Pickle Pumpers (unregistered) in reply to ih8u

## ISSUE #328145

Client Issue: "Hello Kettle? This is Pot, we need to talk..." (see ISSUE #278033)

Problem Point: While attempting to ridicule another user the poster makes the classic mistake of being a complete idiot. Wasting our time with his boring post to ridicule an actually entertaining post he fails to comprehend that he is doing exactly what he claims to dislike so much. Which of course would make him a "Dumbass."

Improvement Goal: Have a cool beverage and enjoy yourself; life's too fun to waste it being a dumbass.

• Pickle Pumpers (unregistered) in reply to RBoy
RBoy:
O'Boy:
Although the samples amply demonstrate the flaw in the CTO's logic, he did have a point. Any legitimate help desk ticket does represent a flaw somewhere in the product/service, and it may be worth trying to figure out if there's a way to fix it.

Sometimes (quite often, probably) there may not be enough information in the ticket to determine how the confusion arose, but you should be able to at least identify the most common points of failure.

In some cases, true, but when "Replace User" becomes the solution for 75% of the problems, it seems to lose its helpfulness.

Let me guess, you've never worked in tech support before?

Let me guess, you've never written software before?

O'Boy is right, too often software is designed by committee so every single person wants there own little special option in there. This leads to horrible apps where the user has to control everything without the expertise of the person that wrote the code in the first place.

If you have a lot of people saying, "Where's the record button?" Maybe you ought to listen and clean up your interface.

• joe user (unregistered)

BEST WTF in a l0ng tyme...itz da funnEH

• john (unregistered)

I once had someone tell me that an issue they were working on was a PEBKAC issue. Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.

I still chuckle a little when I say it

• dude (unregistered)

Reading stuff like this makes you realize that the current un-employment rate is still much lower than the rate of un-employable people.

• PublicLurker (unregistered) in reply to john

Another popular customer is the WOMBAT. They are a Waste Of Money Brains And Talent.

• Obvious Atheist (unregistered) in reply to Deity Obvious

• resembler (unregistered) in reply to Pickle Pumpers
Pickle Pumpers:
Have a cool beverage and enjoy yourself; life's too fun to waste it being a dumbass.

Which is why most of us are smart asses.

• First-Level Nightmare (unregistered) in reply to joel8360
joel8360:
Did it every occur to you that lying is a sure way to poison any kind of interaction? The correct response is not "OK...nothing happened" it's "Look, I've tried that five times already; do I really need to do that again?"

Ugh!!! Been there. Done that. Still lost.

First level tech support these days are only good at following troubleshooting trees and have ZERO capability to recognize when they are talking to someone with a clue who may need to be escalated to the next level.

Case 1: When cable internet was first available in my area, I spent many days of outages calling them when the "link" light on the cable modem was not on steady. This indicator means that there is a problem between the cable modem and the cable office, but EVERY SINGLE TIME I called, they'd insist that I reboot my computer. Millions of dollars on a network, and the idiots didn't even know how to use a free tool like "ping" to determine if my line card was okay.

Case 2: My daughter's laptop screen went dead. Idiot at HP tech support kept trying to have her click different things to bring up some program to troubleshoot the issue. And she kept answering that the screen was black and she couldn't read anything on it. At least 6 times!!! He just refused to listen to her when she said that the screen was completely dead.

I've gotten to where I give ALL 1st-level support people about 30 seconds to demonstrate that they have a clue - or at the very least, good listening skills. After that I ask to have the issue escalated - even ask to speak to the manager on duty if necessary.

• epyon (unregistered) in reply to @Deprecated
@Deprecated:
That makes me want to apply for a support job at a VoIP company: Customer: I am suffering from low QoS. Me: We need to reset your VoIP gateway Customer: Okay, I am resetting it n BYE sip:[email protected];transport=udp SIP/2.0^M CSeq: 2 BYE^M

I used to work for a VOIP company and that was a hilariously common occurrence.

• (cs) in reply to O'Boy
O'Boy:
Although the samples amply demonstrate the flaw in the CTO's logic, he did have a point. Any legitimate help desk ticket does represent a flaw somewhere in the product/service, and it may be worth trying to figure out if there's a way to fix it.

Sometimes (quite often, probably) there may not be enough information in the ticket to determine how the confusion arose, but you should be able to at least identify the most common points of failure.

Spoilsport. It's still a darned good article.

You're right, though. If a customer has a problem, fixing it is good public relations, even if it's not your fault.

dcardani:
Yeah, I have to agree. The first point was that the manual is too confusing. The user's way of saying that was utterly retarded, but the point is still valid.

you have got to be shitting me.

a manual is written for the literate. the user is obviously, based on its crude attempt to make text, profoundly illiterate.

it is inappropriate and misguided to expect documentation to cater to the illiterate. the stupid, maybe. the lazy, even? sure. but no the illiterate. that is where we draw the line: to drive a car, you must at least be not blind. to use computer documentation, you must be able to fucking read.

captcha: get drunk, find a gun

• boss godfrey (unregistered) in reply to LKM
LKM:
Support calls *should* very often result in changes in the software.

Please tell us that you have no part in the production of any actual software. Please.

• Johannes (unregistered)

Yeah yeah dumb customers, very funny.

The whole thing might have been worth it for that gem though:

Improvement Goal: Many companies miss the garbled, unpunctuated non-english market segment completely, and we should not be one of them. It's important to remember that for every client that understands "Click the 'submit' button to save your changes", there's another that only understands "klik tHe summit butt on two SAVE yer changez ya know ya know".

... "Click the submit button to save". So, why isn't the freaking klik-thingy summit button named "SAVE"? To SAVE yer changez ya know?

• (unregistered) in reply to boss godfrey
boss godfrey:
Please tell us that you have no part in the production of any actual software. Please.

What's the problem? When a support call results in a change, every change implemented incorporates a decidedly user-UNfriendly error message.

We can even tie this in with the guy who has Tourettes and give him a job writing the messages.

• gentleman (unregistered) in reply to Jordan Wages

same here. I kept opening a teary eye and re-reading the complaint, then being doubled over in (stifled) laughter again.

• Kef Schecter (unregistered)

To be fair, the CTO did have a very smart idea that's above and beyond the way many executives think. It was just not a particularly well-informed smart idea -- an error of simple naïvete, not stupidity. Presumably, after seeing this, the CTO enacted a policy that made more sense, but was still an improvement over what the policy had been before trying this idea out. If, on the other hand, they simply reverted completely to the preceding policy, that probably would be a WTF.

Of course, there is the minor WTF that the CTO could have been shown a few typical support tickets first and saved a bit of time, but eh, I don't think that's significant in the grand scheme of things.

(CAPTCHA: uxor. I'm only mentioning it because it's one of the few Latin words I actually know. (It means "wife".))

• (cs) in reply to Kef Schecter

yeah, lots of C?O types often have those sort of "revelation" smart ideas, thinking arrogantly that they've invented some new business idea.

the truly intelligent C?O knows to ask someone smarter about his new "invention" to find out why it failed last time someone tried it.

• Anonymous (unregistered)

LOL at the article.

Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

• root (unregistered) in reply to Deity Obvious
Deity Obvious:
Emperor Obvious:
Capt. Obvious:
Tech:
Even though the poster 'ff' (aka captain obvious) is ...

I remember back when I was just a Captain Obvious... Good times!

lightweights ...

Bring it on...

Stop reading TDWTF and get back to work!

• (cs)

This idea is pretty good, once the problem has escalated to a certain level. I'm thinking of JoelOnSoftware's articles: one said that any support call usually indicated an area to improve (note: He's talking about software, not hardware), the other said that it takes asking the question "why" six times to get a useful answer.

As an example I thought of, if tons of people ask about where the "any" key is, change the damn text to read "Press 'A' to continue".

Yes, the user is dumb. Yelling at the user for being dumb just results in needing to help them.

• Mwa (unregistered) in reply to Tech
Tech:
```-------------------------------------------------
ISSUE #88334
-------------------------------------------------
Client Issue:
"frist" -- ff
Problem Point:
Even though the poster 'ff' (aka captain obvious) is
clearly the first poster, to prevent his embarrassment
over a malformed, and misspelled post an automated
response should be implemented so that no human can
post the first comment.
Improvement Goal:
Code should be implemented to replace the first comment
with a large and colorful "First", to satisfy all the nit-
wits out there and prevent the shame of misspelling it
regardless that it might replace something meaningful.```

Grumble

I always thought 'ff' was 'Fat F*\$k'...

• Smithy (unregistered) in reply to ih8u
ih8u:
Tech:
```-------------------------------------------------
ISSUE #88334
-------------------------------------------------
Client Issue:
"frist" -- ff
Problem Point:
Even though the poster 'ff' (aka captain obvious) is
clearly the first poster, to prevent his embarrassment
over a malformed, and misspelled post an automated
response should be implemented so that no human can
post the first comment.
Improvement Goal:
Code should be implemented to replace the first comment
with a large and colorful "First", to satisfy all the nit-
wits out there and prevent the shame of misspelling it
regardless that it might replace something meaningful.```

Grumble

## ISSUE #278033

Client Issue: "whining posts are cluttering up the interwebs (see ISSUE #88334)"

Problem Point: While some posters (for some unknown reason) enjoy short, stupid posts like 'frist', other posters seem to feel that we all want our screens to be filled up by their long-winded, whining and moaning about, in this case, ONE WHOLE WORD.

Improvement Goal: Make sure to append to the beginning of every short post (< 25 chars?) the following message. -- ALERT! You do NOT have to read this post. It may be silly. If that bothers you greatly, you may need a social life, a hobby separate from the internet, or psychological help. --

Ummmm....Hypocrite!!!!

• Jagger (unregistered) in reply to Heron
Heron:
When I was a CS rep for DirecTV several years ago, they told us during training that people would be stupid about following directions, and that the only thing to do was be patient and do whatever possible to get them to follow our directions.

That often resulted in conversations like this:

Me: "Ok, we need to reset your receiver. Unplug it, wait 20 seconds, then plug it back in." Customer: "Ok." (20 seconds go by) "Nothing happened." Me: "Did the lights on the receiver turn off?" Customer: "No." Me: "Did you unplug it?" Customer: "No." Me: headdesk

Important to speak clearly, isn't it? Obviously the customer didn't quite catch "Unplug it" and thought you were doing something remotely to reset (so he waited 20 seconds as instructed).

• Blank (unregistered) in reply to Pickle Pumpers
Pickle Pumpers:
------------------------------------------------- ISSUE #328145 ------------------------------------------------- Client Issue: "Hello Kettle? This is Pot, we need to talk..." (see ISSUE #278033)

Problem Point: While attempting to ridicule another user the poster makes the classic mistake of being a complete idiot. Wasting our time with his boring post to ridicule an actually entertaining post he fails to comprehend that he is doing exactly what he claims to dislike so much. Which of course would make him a "Dumbass."

Improvement Goal: Have a cool beverage and enjoy yourself; life's too fun to waste it being a dumbass.

Zigactly, Watsisname ish ferpectly correct....

• Blank (unregistered) in reply to john
john:
I once had someone tell me that an issue they were working on was a PEBKAC issue. Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.

I still chuckle a little when I say it

Or Tell them it's an I-D-ten-T problem....

• Bruno (unregistered) in reply to Johannes
Johannes:
Yeah yeah dumb customers, very funny.

The whole thing might have been worth it for that gem though:

Improvement Goal: Many companies miss the garbled, unpunctuated non-english market segment completely, and we should not be one of them. It's important to remember that for every client that understands "Click the 'submit' button to save your changes", there's another that only understands "klik tHe summit butt on two SAVE yer changez ya know ya know".

... "Click the submit button to save". So, why isn't the freaking klik-thingy summit button named "SAVE"? To SAVE yer changez ya know?

That's why it's documented...It may not be obvious to the average idiot.

• ACollier (unregistered) in reply to Tech

ISSUE #88335

Client Issue: "Custormer Care" taunter of the uneducated every where has misspelled customer in customer care.

Problem Point: Even though Custormer Care had a well intended joke he further delivered the "lulz" by misspelling his own name.

Improvement Goal:

Make sure that all people on this site are forced to install Firefox 3.5 as to prevent any sort of misspellings when typing in the comment box.

• General Error (unregistered) in reply to General Protection Fault
General Protection Fault:
• JOhnny Cash (unregistered)

Wow, you do raise some valid points dude!

RT www.anonymize.us.tc

• H4X0R (unregistered) in reply to root
root:
Deity Obvious:
Emperor Obvious:
Capt. Obvious:
Tech:
Even though the poster 'ff' (aka captain obvious) is ...

I remember back when I was just a Captain Obvious... Good times!

lightweights ...

Bring it on...

Stop reading TDWTF and get back to work!

GL wid dat

• PublicLurker (unregistered) in reply to Johannes
Johannes:
Yeah yeah dumb customers, very funny.

The whole thing might have been worth it for that gem though:

Improvement Goal: Many companies miss the garbled, unpunctuated non-english market segment completely, and we should not be one of them. It's important to remember that for every client that understands "Click the 'submit' button to save your changes", there's another that only understands "klik tHe summit butt on two SAVE yer changez ya know ya know".

... "Click the submit button to save". So, why isn't the freaking klik-thingy summit button named "SAVE"? To SAVE yer changez ya know?

You click the submit button to save your changes because too many people were complaining about having to click the save button to submit their changes on the earlier version.

dcardani:
Yeah, I have to agree. The first point was that the manual is too confusing. The user's way of saying that was utterly retarded, but the point is still valid.

you have got to be shitting me.

a manual is written for the literate. the user is obviously, based on its crude attempt to make text, profoundly illiterate.

it is inappropriate and misguided to expect documentation to cater to the illiterate. the stupid, maybe. the lazy, even? sure. but no the illiterate. that is where we draw the line: to drive a car, you must at least be not blind. to use computer documentation, you must be able to fucking read.

captcha: get drunk, find a gun

I've lost track of this. Are you the pot or the kettle?

On your keyboard, what does the key directly to the left of the "Z" (or to the right of the "/" key) do?

• acid (unregistered) in reply to bored
bored:
captcha: letatio - I haven't had it in awhile, my girlfriend says it hurts her mouth.

She's not doing it right then. Tell her to keep practicing, it's the only way she's going to get better at it. Begging off is just being lazy.

• acid (unregistered)

Well Done Alex and Crew,

This was a DWTF from the days of old, well done for bringing me a reminder of why I come here each day. Now, if we could just maintain this standard...

• TrainedZombieMonkey (unregistered)

As someone who works in technical support, I have to say that this article is right on the mark. Yes, there are a lot of users out there who really are stupid and/or lazy.

The CTO in this case was a moron. Most support problems cannot be resolved without creating other problems in their place. Password resets are an obvious example... Some systems obviously require passwords to allow access. Doing away with them would cause big security problems. Having them means we need those trained zombie monkeys to reset passwords for the lusers who forget them. Any other system (password reminders, maybe) is subject to abuse and is almost as bad as not requiring passwords. I also feel the need to point out that the costs of QA testing and such for any changes resulting from those issue reports may exceed the cost of simply continuing to take the support calls.

Of course, my perspective may be biased by my desire to retain my current position.

-TZM

• JayC (unregistered) in reply to anon
anon:
heretic:
Heron:
When I was a CS rep for DirecTV several years ago, they told us during training that people would be stupid about following directions, and that the only thing to do was be patient and do whatever possible to get them to follow our directions.

That often resulted in conversations like this:

Me: "Ok, we need to reset your receiver. Unplug it, wait 20 seconds, then plug it back in." Customer: "Ok." (20 seconds go by) "Nothing happened." Me: "Did the lights on the receiver turn off?" Customer: "No." Me: "Did you unplug it?" Customer: "No." Me: headdesk

Did it ever occur to you that the people on the other end of your conversation had already deduced that a receiver reset would not solve the problem because they had already done that five times over the past two days? And that why they waited two days was because they were trying to avoid the pain and suffering inflicted by Customer Service reps who could be replaced by trained zombie monkeys without losing functionality?

No, if that was the case, the customer would have said Yes to both questions... Anyone smart enough to have already done the basic troubleshooting is smart enough to lie when asking to repeat said troubleshooting by a customer support rep.

That's a idiotic and spineless position to take. You either do what they ask or bitch about doing it over and over. There should be no lying to the person that's trying to help you, no matter how brainless it seems. What if tech support is running a different process that absolutely required that one step you lied about doing? It's almost as stupid as not telling your doctor what drugs or so called homeopathic remedies you are taking. Don't assume you will know what will and won't work. If you knew those things, remind me -- why are you calling tech support?

heretic:
Did it ever occur to you that the people on the other end of your conversation had already deduced that a receiver reset would not solve the problem because they had already done that five times over the past two days? And that why they waited two days was because they were trying to avoid the pain and suffering inflicted by Customer Service reps who could be replaced by trained zombie monkeys without losing functionality?
The fun bit is when you get them to do it, make sure they did it right ... and it works. "But I tried that!" Uh-huh.

And to the guy who always asks for the manager on duty, hope that always works for you. My manager knows how to score quality control on my calls, make schedules and drink coffee. And occasionally, laugh maniacally and make sarcastic comments at callers who think he knows a modem from a mandrill's butt, since, you know, tech support and management skillsets are so closely related. What's that? You want me to escalate this call because I'm not giving you the answers you want to hear? O-kaaaay .... tee-hee-hee. ^_^

PS: Hilarious WTF, passed it around the office. I'm tempted to pick a favorite and put it on a shirt.

a manual is written for the literate. the user is obviously, based on its crude attempt to make text, profoundly illiterate.

While generally I agree with you about not writing for the illiterate (or IMHO even the lazy or stupid) I think your perception of this person's level of illiteracy is perhaps a bit off.

My Ex writes worse than this, and I wouldn't call her 'profoundly illiterate'. She's at best borderline illiterate, but she still manages to hold down a job as a technical writer (go figure). Let's just say I didn't love her for her educational prowess but she knows how to sell herself (no pun intended).

BUT, perhaps we've hit upon something here. If you NEED a manual for the illiterate, then who better to write it than an illiterate technical writer? I mean, that would be one document I WOULDN'T have to stay up all night reworking, it could go out as is and the target market would understand it.

It should also be noted (more seriously) here that illiteracy technically means being unable to read as well as being unable to write. I've known quite a few people who can read well enough (My Ex among them) but simply cannot write to save themselves. In some cases this is a symptom of Dyslexia, in others it's just lack of proper training, in still others it's complete lack of practice. The person in this account could clearly read (albeit perhaps not that well) which means that he, she or it wasn't illiterate in the truest sense, and certainly not profoundly so.

But, I still more or less agree with your message.

• (cs) in reply to LKM

I've been a tech support engineer for 3 years now. Started in web hosting, now email security. No matter the size of the company, support is always hammered with issues that could have easily been resolved in the software. And I do mean easily.

After the first 3 occurrences, you make up a template that you send out to everyone with that problem and management is happy enough not to bother the better paid people who would otherwise have to work on resolving the issue. So, no :)

• (cs) in reply to Anonymous
Anonymous:
Jeff:
TRWTF is in the comments: why are links permitted? What legitimate use could they have?

Everyone who reads this site could copy/paste http://www.google.com into their new tab's url field...

...

Banning links is overkill, people are often posting links to interesting sites or maybe just to definitions on Wikipedia. The trick is surely to ban posts with any more than 3 links, or something similar. Then we can still cross reference from the comments but the spammers will be screwed (remember that there is a law of spamming that says you are not allowed to put any less than 12 links into a spam post, even if they are all the same link - it's crazy but then spammers are retards).

Actually, they're smarter than you think. The reason for putting those ridiculous looking links into random pages has NOTHING to do with having people click it.

It's simply done for SEO purposes, as each link from a website is a sort of 'vote' for the linked website. Additionally, the actual link text of the link helps Google determine its content, hence the multiple variations of phrases they would like to be ranked upon.

The simplest solution would be putting rel="nofollow external" into each comment link.

• zcl (unregistered)

Yes ,your article is very good, we have the same belief with you,so let me introduce the area to you.Now Juicy Jewelry become more adn more popular within all kind of people. Juicy couture is a kind of juicy series . It won a good reputation. Juicy sale often held its regular discount juicy activities,such as juicy charms,cheap juicy and so on.In these activities juicy couture sale got great success. juicy couture consists of two main aspects, juicy couture jewelry and juicy couture accessories Juicy couture series are worthwhile than other juicy on sales. They have a lot of discounted jewelry,for example discount Juicy Couture necklaces, juicy earrings , juicy bracelets and rings on sale. Benefit from the discount,you can get juicy jewelry save up to 30%, We assure you of our best services at all times.

• aaron (unregistered) in reply to donniel
The simplest solution would be putting rel="nofollow external" into each comment link.

while this would stop the spammers getting any cred in google, it proberbly wouldnt stop the spamming.

we stopped it using a hidden field, which works really well against bots but doesnt work againsts someone in a third world country manually going to forumns and posting the spam. now our captcha is a picture of someone famous, seems to be working