• Bob Freeman (unregistered)

    Comment change request not found.

  • jonny_q (unregistered)

    So, apparently the only way to access the desired page, and then apparently edit it using the CMS, was for the marketing manager to know to manipulate a query string in a URL? No wonder they edited the wrong page and didn't know any better. Does the CMS have an admin page of sorts with a list that contains "Subscription Confirmation Page" with an "Edit" button next to it?

    Fairly often, I have to deal with people requesting changes that they could easily make themselves using the tools they've been trained to use. However, this is one of those I would have done myself and then entered a task to fix the CMS to make this more obvious.

  • Steve The Cynic (cs)

    So, our hero (?) has the misfortune to work for a boss who cannot communicate, but who also expects that everyone will understand anyway.

    But our hero occupies the role of enabler, in that he does stuff that has the practical effect of concealing the negative effects of his boss's inability to communicate.

    Nobody gets off lightly here. And I'd be putting a lot more effort into job hunting than our hero is, that's for sure.

  • Steve The Cynic (cs) in reply to jonny_q
    jonny_q:
    So, apparently the only way to access the desired page, and then apparently edit it using the CMS, was for the marketing manager to know to manipulate a query string in a URL? No wonder they edited the wrong page and didn't know any better. Does the CMS have an admin page of sorts with a list that contains "Subscription Confirmation Page" with an "Edit" button next to it?

    Fairly often, I have to deal with people requesting changes that they could easily make themselves using the tools they've been trained to use. However, this is one of those I would have done myself and then entered a task to fix the CMS to make this more obvious.

    No, I think the marketing dude wanted to check that the edits had been done right, but without adding a subscription. And the discommunicative boss screwed up, and Tycho helped to hide the fallout from that screw-up. Tycho is not a hero.

  • ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL (unregistered)

    Where’s the thank-you comment?

  • spherulitic (unregistered)

    Holy crap I do this all the time. The ability to translate from Boss into English is very valuable. Not in that it makes Tycho look especially good, but to the boss, anyone who can't translate looks like an idiot.

  • backForMore (unregistered)

    Comment page, friendly message, Tonka trucks no?

  • Peter (unregistered)

    Well, readers of TDWTF know how to solve this problem:

    Private Function GenerateThankYouMessage() As String
        If Now.Millisecond > 900 Then
            Return "Thank you!  We appreciate your subscription..."
        ElseIf Now.Millisecond > 800 Then
            Return "Thank you so much.  Your subcription is confirmed!"
        ElseIf Now.Millisecond > 700 Then
            Return "Thank you!  We appreciate your subscription..."
        ElseIf Now.Millisecond > 600 Then
            Return "Thank you so much.  Your subcription is confirmed!"
        ElseIf Now.Millisecond > 500 Then
            Return "Thank you!  We appreciate your subscription..."
        ElseIf Now.Millisecond > 400 Then
            Return "Thank you so much.  Your subcription is confirmed!"
        ElseIf Now.Millisecond > 300 Then
            Return "Thank you!  We appreciate your subscription..."
        ElseIf Now.Millisecond > 200 Then
            Return "Thank you so much.  Your subcription is confirmed!"
        ElseIf Now.Millisecond > 100 Then
            Return "Thank you!  We appreciate your subscription..."
        Else
            Return "Thank you so much.  Your subcription is confirmed!"
        End If
    End Function
    
  • Nagesh (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • WC (unregistered) in reply to Steve The Cynic
    Steve The Cynic:
    So, our hero (?) has the misfortune to work for a boss who cannot communicate, but who also expects that everyone will understand anyway.

    But our hero occupies the role of enabler, in that he does stuff that has the practical effect of concealing the negative effects of his boss's inability to communicate.

    Nobody gets off lightly here. And I'd be putting a lot more effort into job hunting than our hero is, that's for sure.

    It always amazes me how much time and money managers like this waste.

    I've worked for them before and my solution was the same as our 'hero': Spend the time and do what they want. They clearly just want him to do things and not bother them, even if it costs more. No amount of explaining will change anything.

    As a bonus, you're the company hero that gets everything done without complaint.

  • SCSimmons (cs) in reply to Steve The Cynic
    Steve The Cynic:
    jonny_q:
    So, apparently the only way to access the desired page, and then apparently edit it using the CMS, was for the marketing manager to know to manipulate a query string in a URL? No wonder they edited the wrong page and didn't know any better. Does the CMS have an admin page of sorts with a list that contains "Subscription Confirmation Page" with an "Edit" button next to it?

    Fairly often, I have to deal with people requesting changes that they could easily make themselves using the tools they've been trained to use. However, this is one of those I would have done myself and then entered a task to fix the CMS to make this more obvious.

    No, I think the marketing dude wanted to check that the edits had been done right, but without adding a subscription. And the discommunicative boss screwed up, and Tycho helped to hide the fallout from that screw-up. Tycho is not a hero.
    In all fairness, after working for someone like this for a couple of years, one becomes aware of whether their behavior is something they can be trained out of, or whether the effort will just waste even more time. If it's a customer and your boss is supportive, you can afford to be a hard case and refuse to baby them; once they figure out what they can do to make things actually happen, their frustration with how long it took will usually motivate them to change their behavior. (Almost anyone will eventually notice that all their blustering and complaining isn't effectively getting anything done.) When it's your boss who's consistently doing this, there's a pretty narrow gap between insisting on clear communication and teaching proper procedures, and unemployment.

    Of course, it is sometimes totally worth while to play on the dangerous side of that gap.

  • Steve The Cynic (cs) in reply to WC
    WC:
    As a bonus, you're the company hero that gets everything done without complaint.
    No, you're a bigger villain than the discommunicative boss, because without you (and other "enablers") wasting company time and other resources deciphering inadequate messages, the discommunicativeness would be impossible to hide. It's like the spouse who lies to all and sundry to cover up for and/or explain away the behaviour of a descending alcoholic. In the end, in both cases, it can only be hidden for so long before it all goes to hell in a hand basket.
  • Rootbeer (cs)

    Maybe instead of wasting hours on forensic research trying to divine what's rattling around inside the boss's empty head, Tycho could have spent five minutes getting the answer straight from the horse's ass?

    If he doesn't respond to email, call him. If he doesn't answer his phone, visit him in his office. You're much harder to ignore when you're front and center.

  • Ben Jammin (unregistered) in reply to WC
    WC:

    It always amazes me how much time and money managers like this waste.

    The time and money he seemingly wastes, he makes back by not using time/money to write subject lines and long emails.

  • airdrik (cs) in reply to jonny_q
    jonny_q:
    So, apparently the only way to access the desired page, and then apparently edit it using the CMS, was for the marketing manager to know to manipulate a query string in a URL? No wonder they edited the wrong page and didn't know any better. Does the CMS have an admin page of sorts with a list that contains "Subscription Confirmation Page" with an "Edit" button next to it?

    Fairly often, I have to deal with people requesting changes that they could easily make themselves using the tools they've been trained to use. However, this is one of those I would have done myself and then entered a task to fix the CMS to make this more obvious.

    Or TRWTF is a CMS which lets (as far as we can tell any) subscribed users edit administrative pages like the Subscription Confirmation Page, (presumable also the unsubscribe confirmation page). So what happens when a client discovers that they can edit any page and changes the Subscription Confirmation Page to say something like "We don't serve your kind here! Go away and grow up!"? (yeah, audit trails, it was client XYZ. Ban that client and revert the page - but how do we do that without being a subscribed user... Development: fix our blunder!)

    If there is some authorization mechanism which prevents clients from editing such pages, then that same mechanism should allow the marketing people to log in and make necessary changes without having to "subscribe" to the service like other clients (or they would already have a special marketing subscription which has the proper permissions in place to allow them to do so which other clients shouldn't have).

  • Mick (unregistered) in reply to Steve The Cynic

    Someone can share with us any story about a worker being able to dislodge, unmask or get into the right track an uncommunicative boss? The power relation is uneven and 99.5% of the time, the worker who refuses to bend to the bosses traits will find him/herself is severe trouble. I have seen situations simmilar like the one described here, and the saddest thing is that the über-boss is completely unaware and/or doesn't care at all about the behaviour of the uncommunicative boss /who usually is very communicative with the über-boss), so trying to fix the boss will get you personally in a lot more trouble.

  • I hate people who say first (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • the beholder (unregistered) in reply to WC
    WC:
    As a bonus, you're the company hero that gets everything done without complaint.
    Really? And what is this "bonus" good for, other than a massage to your ego?

    If I was Tycho I would approach the boss asking demanding him to change his behavior, for the sake of everyone else. I am fully aware that he wouldn't agree and would throw a tantrum again - it worked every time before, why not now? Which means he would want to fire me, but good luck to him finding another person who can translate bossspeak to english.

    From here two things can happen: with time, lost revenues may make him consider that I was right and he'll at least try and change, or else he won't change and the company will deservedly bleed money (maybe up to the point of going belly up). Either way is a victory.

    Naturally I would precede this plan with a thorough job hunting. But I am not cattle and prefer not be treated as such, even if the pay is good.

  • Nick (unregistered)

    This is the frist time I've ever seen a comments page where the frist comment is 'Frist' - makes a nice change maybe it's on the error page instead

  • radarbob (unregistered) in reply to Steve The Cynic
    Steve The Cynic:
    jonny_q:
    So, apparently the only way to access the desired page, and then apparently edit it using the CMS, was for the marketing manager to know to manipulate a query string in a URL? No wonder they edited the wrong page and didn't know any better. Does the CMS have an admin page of sorts with a list that contains "Subscription Confirmation Page" with an "Edit" button next to it?

    Fairly often, I have to deal with people requesting changes that they could easily make themselves using the tools they've been trained to use. However, this is one of those I would have done myself and then entered a task to fix the CMS to make this more obvious.

    No, I think the marketing dude wanted to check that the edits had been done right, but without adding a subscription. And the discommunicative boss screwed up, and Tycho helped to hide the fallout from that screw-up. Tycho is not a hero.

    Of course Tycho is a hero. (1) He did not reflect his boss(es)' stupidity back to his bosses. (2) He did not engage in an inevitably losing email flame war (3)He did not leave an email trail demonstrating his "lack of team player-ship / disrespect for authority / blah, blah" ; as his obtuse boss WILL interpret his email in proportion to #1 above (4) He did not commit political hari-kari for his sanity's sake (4) he fixed the problem.

  • me (unregistered)

    "helped developed"?

  • PiisAWheeL (cs) in reply to ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL
    ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL:
    Where’s the thank-you comment?
    An unexpected error occurred.
  • Math Hero (unregistered) in reply to radarbob
    radarbob:
    Steve The Cynic:
    jonny_q:
    So, apparently the only way to access the desired page, and then apparently edit it using the CMS, was for the marketing manager to know to manipulate a query string in a URL? No wonder they edited the wrong page and didn't know any better. Does the CMS have an admin page of sorts with a list that contains "Subscription Confirmation Page" with an "Edit" button next to it?

    Fairly often, I have to deal with people requesting changes that they could easily make themselves using the tools they've been trained to use. However, this is one of those I would have done myself and then entered a task to fix the CMS to make this more obvious.

    No, I think the marketing dude wanted to check that the edits had been done right, but without adding a subscription. And the discommunicative boss screwed up, and Tycho helped to hide the fallout from that screw-up. Tycho is not a hero.

    Of course Tycho is a hero. (1) He did not reflect his boss(es)' stupidity back to his bosses. (2) He did not engage in an inevitably losing email flame war (3)He did not leave an email trail demonstrating his "lack of team player-ship / disrespect for authority / blah, blah" ; as his obtuse boss WILL interpret his email in proportion to #1 above (4) He did not commit political hari-kari for his sanity's sake (4) he fixed the problem.

    Also, when enumerating stuff, he can count the number 4 twice. A hero, indeed.

  • barrabus (cs) in reply to airdrik
    airdrik:
    jonny_q:
    So, apparently the only way to access the desired page, and then apparently edit it using the CMS, was for the marketing manager to know to manipulate a query string in a URL? No wonder they edited the wrong page and didn't know any better. Does the CMS have an admin page of sorts with a list that contains "Subscription Confirmation Page" with an "Edit" button next to it?

    Fairly often, I have to deal with people requesting changes that they could easily make themselves using the tools they've been trained to use. However, this is one of those I would have done myself and then entered a task to fix the CMS to make this more obvious.

    Or TRWTF is a CMS which lets (as far as we can tell any) subscribed users edit administrative pages like the Subscription Confirmation Page, (presumable also the unsubscribe confirmation page). So what happens when a client discovers that they can edit any page and changes the Subscription Confirmation Page to say something like "We don't serve your kind here! Go away and grow up!"? (yeah, audit trails, it was client XYZ. Ban that client and revert the page - but how do we do that without being a subscribed user... Development: fix our blunder!)

    If there is some authorization mechanism which prevents clients from editing such pages, then that same mechanism should allow the marketing people to log in and make necessary changes without having to "subscribe" to the service like other clients (or they would already have a special marketing subscription which has the proper permissions in place to allow them to do so which other clients shouldn't have).

    That's not how it worked. Clients don't get to edit that page. The marketing manager was able to make the changes, but couldn't test his changes on the site without signing up for a new subscription (since the page he changed was the thank-you page for signing up).

    Since they didn't want to artificially inflate the subscription numbers, the solution was to go directly to the thank-you page (www.example.com/thankyou.html?new_subscription_id=123456), but the boss left off the query string, blah blah blah, etc etc etc.

  • PiisAWheeL (cs) in reply to Math Hero
    Math Hero:
    radarbob:
    Steve The Cynic:
    jonny_q:
    So, apparently the only way to access the desired page, and then apparently edit it using the CMS, was for the marketing manager to know to manipulate a query string in a URL? No wonder they edited the wrong page and didn't know any better. Does the CMS have an admin page of sorts with a list that contains "Subscription Confirmation Page" with an "Edit" button next to it?

    Fairly often, I have to deal with people requesting changes that they could easily make themselves using the tools they've been trained to use. However, this is one of those I would have done myself and then entered a task to fix the CMS to make this more obvious.

    No, I think the marketing dude wanted to check that the edits had been done right, but without adding a subscription. And the discommunicative boss screwed up, and Tycho helped to hide the fallout from that screw-up. Tycho is not a hero.

    Of course Tycho is a hero. (1) He did not reflect his boss(es)' stupidity back to his bosses. (2) He did not engage in an inevitably losing email flame war (3)He did not leave an email trail demonstrating his "lack of team player-ship / disrespect for authority / blah, blah" ; as his obtuse boss WILL interpret his email in proportion to #1 above (4) He did not commit political hari-kari for his sanity's sake (4) he fixed the problem.

    Also, when enumerating stuff, he can count the number 4 twice. A hero, indeed.
    Something tells me that a flaw like that will go unnoticed by his boss.

  • Nagesh (cs)
    However, since the only way to access that page is by signing up for a new email subscription – something which would theoretically inflate new subscription numbers – the marketing manager must have asked Tycho’s boss if there was another way to access the page.

    Why this requirement? I fail to understand.

  • Zylon (cs)

    Whenever someone sends me an email with a blank subject line, I fill it in with "RUBBER BABY BUGGY BUMPERS" when I reply.

    Sometimes, passive aggression is best aggression.

  • airdrik (cs) in reply to barrabus
    barrabus:
    airdrik:
    jonny_q:
    So, apparently the only way to access the desired page, and then apparently edit it using the CMS, was for the marketing manager to know to manipulate a query string in a URL? No wonder they edited the wrong page and didn't know any better. Does the CMS have an admin page of sorts with a list that contains "Subscription Confirmation Page" with an "Edit" button next to it?

    Fairly often, I have to deal with people requesting changes that they could easily make themselves using the tools they've been trained to use. However, this is one of those I would have done myself and then entered a task to fix the CMS to make this more obvious.

    Or TRWTF is a CMS which lets (as far as we can tell any) subscribed users edit administrative pages like the Subscription Confirmation Page, (presumable also the unsubscribe confirmation page). So what happens when a client discovers that they can edit any page and changes the Subscription Confirmation Page to say something like "We don't serve your kind here! Go away and grow up!"? (yeah, audit trails, it was client XYZ. Ban that client and revert the page - but how do we do that without being a subscribed user... Development: fix our blunder!)

    If there is some authorization mechanism which prevents clients from editing such pages, then that same mechanism should allow the marketing people to log in and make necessary changes without having to "subscribe" to the service like other clients (or they would already have a special marketing subscription which has the proper permissions in place to allow them to do so which other clients shouldn't have).

    That's not how it worked. Clients don't get to edit that page. The marketing manager was able to make the changes, but couldn't test his changes on the site without signing up for a new subscription (since the page he changed was the thank-you page for signing up).

    Since they didn't want to artificially inflate the subscription numbers, the solution was to go directly to the thank-you page (www.example.com/thankyou.html?new_subscription_id=123456), but the boss left off the query string, blah blah blah, etc etc etc.

    Woops, looks like I misread. TRWTF is the lack of preview, or marketing not using the preview and signing off based on the preview?

  • You are stupid (unregistered) in reply to I hate people who say first
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Aaaaaaaa (unregistered)

    I guess Tycho's boss isn't the only one who communicates unclearly.

    "The light bulb went off"? Wouldn't that leave Tycho even more in the dark than before?

  • Lost in Code (unregistered)

    Drop an envelope on the bosses desk with some small change in it and send an email back saying "Thank you change is in the envelope on your desk".

  • Zylon (cs) in reply to You are stupid
    You are stupid:
    What if I told you people like you are the reason why people post "first" in the first place?
    Only some of them. Most of them really are attention whores. They may be a complete failure in life in all other respects, but by god, they got a first post! They're SOMEBODY! The new telephone books are here!

    The other ones are just trolls, which of course is just a slightly more sociopathic form of attention whore.

  • frits (cs) in reply to Zylon
    Zylon:
    You are stupid:
    What if I told you people like you are the reason why people post "first" in the first place?
    Only some of them. Most of them really are attention whores. They may be a complete failure in life in all other respects, but by god, they got a first post! They're SOMEBODY! The new telephone books are here!

    The other ones are just trolls, which of course is just a slightly more sociopathic form of attention whore.

    How exactly is posting "first" a troll?

    Oh, because you people will complain about it. Carry on.

  • Not Jimmy Wales (unregistered) in reply to Rootbeer
    Rootbeer:
    Maybe instead of wasting hours on forensic research trying to divine what's rattling around inside the boss's empty head, Tycho could have spent five minutes getting the answer straight from the horse's ass?

    If he doesn't respond to email, call him. If he doesn't answer his phone, visit him in his office. You're much harder to ignore when you're front and center.

    I suspect his boss is one of those who is usually in a meeting of one sort or another with other high-ranking equine posteriors, & unavailable to unimportant people who do actual work, for example his reports.

  • zelmak (cs) in reply to Zylon
    Zylon:
    You are stupid:
    What if I told you people like you are the reason why people post "first" in the first place?
    Only some of them. Most of them really are attention whores. They may be a complete failure in life in all other respects, but by god, they got a first post! They're SOMEBODY! The new telephone books are here!

    The other ones are just trolls, which of course is just a slightly more sociopathic form of attention whore.

    People who post to internet forums are another form of attention whore. People who point out other people's flaws are a slightly more sociopathic form of attention whore.

    (I love recursion.)

  • Fred (unregistered)

    We've all known users -- and bosses -- who loathe giving understandable requirements.

    Invariably when they ask "Is it done yet?" the answer they want to hear is "Yes." So, the customer/boss is always right; give them what they want; say "Yes, the thank-you change is done."

    7 times out of ten they will think oh good and move on to another victim.

    2 times out of ten they will go to try it out but get distracted.

    1 time out of ten they will go to try it out and fire back an email saying "Hey I looked but it doesn't do XXXXXXX!"

    And now, grasshopper, you have tricked them into giving you a requirement. Carry on.

  • Don L (unregistered)

    There's only one loser in situations like this: Tycho.

    • Either he'll be known as "The Great Fixer" and get a lot of work resolving stupid things after managers, marketers and salers screw up things. (hey, I just invented two new words :-)
    • Or he'll confront the PHB, and lose
    • Or he'll complain about the PHB to the Überboss and lose as well It takes a lot for a manager to be fired.

    As a technical person "on the floor", either go somewhere else or be quiet and wait for the buggers to make huge mistakes. And even then, those huge mistakes can get your ass screwed anyway. "The manager erased the production database? Why didn't you secure it? Oh, you've got written proof that we said you shouldn't? Well, too bad we sacked you before we knew that."

    The best thing you can do is to safeguard against those people screwing up in the first place, doing CYA all the time. And if you don't have the time to do that? Go somewhere else.

    I agree that the best response to that mail would be to call said manager or show up and ask.

  • PiisAWheeL (cs) in reply to You are stupid
    You are stupid:
    I hate people who say first:
    I hate people who say first:
    [image]

    I heard people with very small phallus make up for it by declaring that they commented first.

    (wrong url @ first try)

    What if I told you people like you are the reason why people post "first" in the first place?

    Exactly. Its just like advertizing. If you ignore them they go away.

  • Zunesize Me! (unregistered) in reply to PiisAWheeL
    Comment held for moderation.
  • PiisAWheeL (cs) in reply to Fred
    Fred:
    We've all known users -- and bosses -- who loathe giving understandable requirements.

    Invariably when they ask "Is it done yet?" the answer they want to hear is "Yes." So, the customer/boss is always right; give them what they want; say "Yes, the thank-you change is done."

    7 times out of ten they will think oh good and move on to another victim.

    2 times out of ten they will go to try it out but get distracted.

    1 time out of ten they will go to try it out and fire back an email saying "Hey I looked but it doesn't do XXXXXXX!"

    And now, grasshopper, you have tricked them into giving you a requirement. Carry on.

    So instead of asking them what they meant, you mean we should reply with something like "Ok, I made some changes, try it now... whats it doing... where are you at? Ok, Let me try something else I'll call you back."

    I like the way you think.

  • Lars Vargas (can't log in!) (unregistered)

    For some jobs, you need brass balls. For others, like this one ... crystal. Either way, it takes balls to keep on working for a boss like that.

  • QJo (cs) in reply to radarbob
    radarbob:
    Steve The Cynic:
    jonny_q:
    So, apparently the only way to access the desired page, and then apparently edit it using the CMS, was for the marketing manager to know to manipulate a query string in a URL? No wonder they edited the wrong page and didn't know any better. Does the CMS have an admin page of sorts with a list that contains "Subscription Confirmation Page" with an "Edit" button next to it?

    Fairly often, I have to deal with people requesting changes that they could easily make themselves using the tools they've been trained to use. However, this is one of those I would have done myself and then entered a task to fix the CMS to make this more obvious.

    No, I think the marketing dude wanted to check that the edits had been done right, but without adding a subscription. And the discommunicative boss screwed up, and Tycho helped to hide the fallout from that screw-up. Tycho is not a hero.

    Of course Tycho is a hero. (1) He did not reflect his boss(es)' stupidity back to his bosses. (2) He did not engage in an inevitably losing email flame war (3)He did not leave an email trail demonstrating his "lack of team player-ship / disrespect for authority / blah, blah" ; as his obtuse boss WILL interpret his email in proportion to #1 above (4) He did not commit political hari-kari for his sanity's sake (4) he fixed the problem.

    No, he's not particularly a hero. He was just doing a perfectly ordinary run-of-the-mill job (pretty well, I'll give him that) - but come on, this sort of thing is all in a day's work for a competent engineer. Throwing bloody stupid tantrums like a load of silly girls is the real WTF.

    Go it Tycho, come and work for me any time.

  • Zylon (cs) in reply to zelmak
    zelmak:
    Zylon:
    You are stupid:
    What if I told you people like you are the reason why people post "first" in the first place?
    Only some of them. Most of them really are attention whores. They may be a complete failure in life in all other respects, but by god, they got a first post! They're SOMEBODY! The new telephone books are here!

    The other ones are just trolls, which of course is just a slightly more sociopathic form of attention whore.

    People who post to internet forums are another form of attention whore. People who point out other people's flaws are a slightly more sociopathic form of attention whore.

    (I love recursion.)

    If you love it, you should perhaps put some effort into not sucking at it.

  • Vlad Patryshev (unregistered)

    It's a bug. The page should clearly tell the user what he or she is editing and where it goes. (my personal opinion)

  • AN AWESOME CODER (unregistered)

    It amazes me that all of you think Tycos should make his boss change his behavior, or defend that he did the right thing.

    In reality, it's just a communication issue, and laziness on both parties side. Do you think his boss would have been equally terse verbally? I doubt it. In fact, his original email is a perfectly valid intro to a dialogue about the problem.

    It's quite easy for us as people stuck to our computers 75% of the day to expect everyone to communicate effectively in their emails, but we often fail to realize that effective communication typically thrives OUTSIDE of email.

    In fact, imagine Ty explaining the problem via e-mail, versus actually walking his boss through what he did wrong so he can learn something?

  • AN AWESOME CODER (unregistered)

    I'd also like to add:

    if you have not had to deal with users (bosses, customers, etc) who explain problems/bugs vaguely or incorrectly yet want results immediately, you're either isolated, inexperienced, or ridculously fortunate.

  • justme (unregistered) in reply to spherulitic
    spherulitic:
    Holy crap I do this all the time. The ability to translate from Boss into English is very valuable. Not in that it makes Tycho look especially good, but to the boss, anyone who can't translate looks like an idiot.
    I had a boss similar to the one in the story, for years. I once got an email with a subject line and the the body contained "???". Like Tycho, I learned not to read email as such, but write email is a similar fashion. When I changed jobs ( in same company ) the biggest "improvement" on my review was "learn to communicate more effectively"
  • AN AWESOME CODER (unregistered) in reply to justme
    justme:
    spherulitic:
    Holy crap I do this all the time. The ability to translate from Boss into English is very valuable. Not in that it makes Tycho look especially good, but to the boss, anyone who can't translate looks like an idiot.
    I had a boss similar to the one in the story, for years. I once got an email with a subject line and the the body contained "???". Like Tycho, I learned not to read email as such, but write email is a similar fashion. When I changed jobs ( in same company ) the biggest "improvement" on my review was "learn to communicate more effectively"

    Transmitting isn't communicating if both people don't understand the message. Therefore using bad communication to fight bad communication is bad communication.

    Your boss understands the message. You don't. Therefore, responding to a message you can't make sense of with a message he can't make sense of is noise. It's your job to request clarification in a method that your boss understands (might not be typing), using language he understands (might require you to use your tongue instead of fingers).

    This will probably work to your advantage anyway. I can't tell you how many times I've had people stop submitting their own tickets, and have them call me first and I enter it myself. The 5 minutes it takes to talk to them and record the info is not only more pleasant for them (which means they're more willing to take the time), it's faster than me spending 10 minutes reading garbage and having to spend 5 minutes on the phone with them anyway.

    Yes, people should learn good written communication, but the reality is there are far too many people who suck at it.

  • Zylon (cs)

    I've been down this treadmill for years--

    Communicate so that reasonably intelligent people can understand you; get dinged by the dimbulbs for being "cryptic".

    Communicate so that everyone can understand you; get dinged for being condescending.

    Sigh.

  • Coyne (cs)

    A running joke at our organization is based in the System Managers' habit of responding to all problem reports with, "Try it now."

    (...and, of course, when you try it, it is magically working!)

    So, in keeping with the general absence of communication in Tycho's organization, his future responses should consist simply of:

    Try it now.

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