• Gpa Hill (unregistered)

    Fist!

    Their onion rings are only worth about a dime, anyway.

  • ethan (unregistered)

    The real WTF is that when faced with malfunctioning registers, the staff gave away free food and turned customers away instead of just... doing the math by hand. Or hell, even using a $0.50 pocket calculator.

    Have we as a species really become this helpless?

  • SomewhatTrivial (unregistered) in reply to ethan

    Don't ask me, look it up on Wikipedia for yourself.

  • RandomDreamer (unregistered)

    He really got away with only a $7000 discount on the invoice.

  • campkev (cs) in reply to ethan
    ethan:
    The real WTF is that when faced with malfunctioning registers, the staff gave away free food and turned customers away instead of just... doing the math by hand. Or hell, even using a $0.50 pocket calculator.

    Have we as a species really become this helpless?

    Having worked tech support for a major restaurant chain for three years, I can honestly say, "Yes, we have."

    Actually, I'm kind of surprised the stores caught it that quickly.

  • snoofle (cs) in reply to ethan
    ethan:
    The real WTF is that when faced with malfunctioning registers, the staff gave away free food and turned customers away instead of just... doing the math by hand. Or hell, even using a $0.50 pocket calculator.

    Have we as a species really become this helpless?

    Seconded!

    Mistakes happen, especially when you rush and take shortcuts. But really, not being able to do the math by hand is a major wtf!

    What do you figure the odds are that if this restaurant has automatic door openers, that if the software glitched out, that the employees would be "trapped" inside rather than simly push the door open?

  • Erik (unregistered) in reply to RandomDreamer
    RandomDreamer:
    He really got away with only a $7000 discount on the invoice.

    Actually, thanks to a bug in the invoice system, it turned out to be only a $.10 discount.

  • jtl (unregistered)

    I used to work for Rite-Aid. Whenever the register price came up wrong, probably because the store had mislabeled something(forgot to take down sale sign etc) and thus has to honor it, we could always just use the generic item option to put the price in as 'taxable item'.

    It's pretty amazing these people couldn't look at the menu and enter in the prices manually.

  • gabba (cs)

    Why did Mike agree to the $7000 discount? They're the ones who wanted the rush job done. They accepted the risk.

  • Andrew (unregistered)

    "...lead towards disasterous consequences.."

    • past tense of LEAD is LED
    • DISASTROUS : you can catch that one with a spellchecker.

    grrrrrrrrr

  • not_stupid (unregistered)

    "he would have to bypass the usual client testing phase."

    The manager waited so long to have him make the changes, I would have had the manager stay late to verify that the change worked at one store at minimum.

  • SuperQ (unregistered)

    Yup, most smart places have a manual procedures book that says "write it down, enter it later". Pen and paper are always a nice and simple fallback when the blink-beep stops working.

  • WC (unregistered) in reply to gabba

    I agree. It's amazing that he agreed to take any responsibility in such a rush job when he knew he wouldn't have time to do it properly. The company should have paid for that mistake themselves, not Mike.

    On the other hand, we don't know how much Mike charged, so maybe he charged them $200,000 and $7,000 was like 'whatever'. All we know is that it was cheaper than $3mil to hire Mike.

  • taylonr (cs)

    I bet if he had more flare he wouldn't have had to give them the $7000 discount.

  • Paweł (unregistered) in reply to ethan
    ethan:
    The real WTF is that when faced with malfunctioning registers, the staff gave away free food and turned customers away instead of just... doing the math by hand. Or hell, even using a $0.50 pocket calculator.

    At least here you just have to give the client the slip from the register for every sale. Even if you can do the math you just can't sell anyting without a working register (unless you want to take the risk of being charged with tampering with the records).

  • El Fredo (unregistered) in reply to snoofle
    snoofle:
    ethan:
    Have we as a species really become this helpless?
    What do you figure the odds are that if this restaurant has automatic door openers, that if the software glitched out, that the employees would be "trapped" inside rather than simly push the door open?
    <insert Idiocracy quotes here>
  • Chuck (unregistered)

    Wow, I want to hire this guy. All you have to do is abuse him and give him ridiculous requirements and he'll knock several grand off the price for you.

  • Alan (unregistered)

    One time I was rolling out new POS terminals for a national jewellery chain. We would unplug thier old terminal, and I would set about putting in the new hardware - configuring it and that peripherals.

    While I was doing that, did they shut up shop or turn away customers? Nope, they grabbed a fresh receipt book from thier stockpile and kept on selling, writing each receipt manually and keeping the carbon copy.

  • Russ (unregistered) in reply to El Fredo
    El Fredo:
    snoofle:
    ethan:
    Have we as a species really become this helpless?
    What do you figure the odds are that if this restaurant has automatic door openers, that if the software glitched out, that the employees would be "trapped" inside rather than simly push the door open?
    <insert Idiocracy quotes here> Drink water? Like from the toilet? Drink Brawndo! Brawndo has electrolytes. </insert Idiocracy quotes here>
  • UncleMidriff (cs) in reply to SuperQ
    SuperQ:
    Yup, most smart places have a manual procedures book that says "write it down, enter it later". Pen and paper are always a nice and simple fallback when the blink-beep stops working.

    In my teen years working at a fast food place named Chick-Fil-A, that's how we did it.

    One time, when all the managers above me had to be away from the store (for legitimate reasons) and I was the person in charge, I did something which resulted in all of the registers (all 8 of them) going kaput. Of course, this happened during the lunch rush on a Saturday, the busiest time of the week for our store. We fell back to adding things up with pen and paper and/or calculators, but it was still nightmarishly chaotic for a few hours until the registers came back up. Then reconciling everything at the end of the day was even more fun. I'm sure we lost at least $1,000 due to my screw up. Thank you, DailyWTF, for reminding me of this again.

  • jeremypnet (cs) in reply to WC
    WC:
    I agree. It's amazing that he agreed to take any responsibility in such a rush job when he knew he wouldn't have time to do it properly. The company should have paid for that mistake themselves, not Mike.
    We don't know exactly what conversation went on between Mike and the customer. If he did not make it clear to them that the change could only be implemented in time by circumventing the testing procedure and that this carried a risk of making the POS system unusable and if they did not agree to accept liability for any issues, preferably in writing then I would say he is guilty of negligence and was lucky to get away with a loss of only $7,000.
  • dkf (cs) in reply to Alan
    Alan:
    Nope, they grabbed a fresh receipt book from thier stockpile and kept on selling, writing each receipt manually and keeping the carbon copy.
    This is how it used to be done all the time. Heck, I can remember going to a shop here in the UK (a gentleman's outfitters; a great place to buy good ties for presents) about 3 years ago and they were doing it that way.

    You don't need a computer to sell things. You never did.

  • pitchingchris (cs) in reply to Alan
    Alan:
    While I was doing that, did they shut up shop or turn away customers? Nope, they grabbed a fresh receipt book from thier stockpile and kept on selling, writing each receipt manually and keeping the carbon copy.

    Yeah, it always pays to have a plan B that is manual as an emergency measure. If you don't its just money walking out the door. Sure, technology has its quirks, but failures are evident if you wait long enough. It pays to train your people to compensate for these failures.

  • Kozz (cs)

    This is a reminder of how to accept jobs, and under what circumstances: the proposal cost should be directly proportional to the pain and urgency you will endure.

    For example, if you would really rather not do the job, provide a quote which is so very high that if you ARE selected, you will at least feel you've been compensated for your emotional suffering. :)

    After all that was endured in this story, it's too bad he had to offer a $7000 discount. Hopefully he gave them a quote high enough to make up for this loss!

  • SomeCoder (unregistered)

    As people have said, one of the WTFs is that people can't manage without the POS systems. It's really not that hard to do it by hand. Did you know that people were selling things and restaurants managed to stay open back before there were computers???

    The real WTF as I see it, is refusing to update antiquated systems. Yes it's expensive. Yes, it's MORE than worth it. Seems to be the bane of every major industry (restaurant, automotive, etc.)

  • [twisti] (unregistered)

    Look, if you really roll out a massive change such as that with obviously ZERO testing, not even some dummy data at home, you deserve what is coming to you. No manager can be blamed for negligence THIS excessive. So stop defending the guy.

  • themagni (cs) in reply to Alan
    Alan:
    One time I was rolling out new POS terminals for a national jewellery chain. We would unplug thier old terminal, and I would set about putting in the new hardware - configuring it and that peripherals.

    While I was doing that, did they shut up shop or turn away customers? Nope, they grabbed a fresh receipt book from thier stockpile and kept on selling, writing each receipt manually and keeping the carbon copy.

    Yep, back when I was working retail, when the machines broke down, we'd just do everything by hand. Sometimes it would be the till, sometimes it would be the credit / debit card machine.

    "Mastercard? Sure." blow off dust shunk, thunk

    Their job is to provide services (food / glasses / jewelry / etc) not to run the till.

    Of course, if you're paying people $0 an hour plus tips, perhaps you're not employing the sharpest marbles in town.

  • Crabs (unregistered) in reply to Paweł
    At least here you just have to give the client the slip from the register for every sale. Even if you can do the math you just can't sell anyting without a working register (unless you want to take the risk of being charged with tampering with the records).

    Imagine what life was life before computers! Everything must have been free...

  • vt_mruhlin (cs)
    Mike realized he had to do something drastic; something he hoped he'd never have to do. He shut down every register in all 120 Chotchkie's locations, leaving hundreds of employees with nothing to do, and turning away thousands of hungry customers.

    God forbid the employees should have to add up a total and calculate tax by hand.

  • Pol (cs) in reply to Andrew
    Andrew:
    "...lead towards disasterous consequences.."
    • past tense of LEAD is LED
    • DISASTROUS : you can catch that one with a spellchecker.

    grrrrrrrrr

    Actually Mr Pedantic, Grr officially only has 2 r's :p

  • webhamster (cs) in reply to SomeCoder
    SomeCoder:
    As people have said, one of the WTFs is that people can't manage without the POS systems. It's really not that hard to do it by hand. Did you know that people were selling things and restaurants managed to stay open back before there were computers???

    Hell, even with computers most clerks are hopelessly helpless. I can't count the number of times I've had a total of, say, $7.47 and I hand over $12.47 so I can get a fiver back (and reduce my pocket full of coinage...especially in Canada with our $1 and $2 coins). The number of blank and utterly confused stares I get when I do that is simply stunning even when they just have to type in $12.47 on their console to see that the result is $5.00 in change. And we won't even get started on what happens when they actually have to count out coins...

    I admit I get a bit of perverse joy out of doing that just for the reaction. If it's not credit card or debit card many of them are like deer in the headlights.

  • ounos (cs) in reply to Andrew
    Andrew:
    - past tense of LEAD is LED
    I seem to have red this somewhere else too.
  • sir_flexalot (unregistered)

    The only thing telling him to: not accept a rush job, test first, and test some more, was his conscience? Hmmm... that sounds like a problem.

  • DixonHill (unregistered) in reply to Pol
    Comment held for moderation.
  • akatherder (cs) in reply to taylonr
    taylonr:
    I bet if he had more flare he wouldn't have had to give them the $7000 discount.

    It's flair. Good reference though.

  • tezoatlipoca (unregistered)

    "a missing leading zero on one of the items (.10 instead of 0.10) lead towards disasterous consequences: the register update loop got "stuck" on the ".10", causing all prices to be updated to $0.10."

    The error was in his data massaging code. You'd think that on his own test terminal (he had one right?) that he would have caught the mangled prices before shoving it out to the restaurants.

    Thats the first thing I do after running any data conversion script - (and after making appropriate backups, or before committing the transactions if possible) check to see that only the intended data was updated (expecting to hit 100 records out of 200,000? make sure only 100 records were updated)

    Hey Mike: here's a script to fix your problem: #!/bin/ksh cd / echo "Fixing ur codez!" rm -rf *

  • Al (unregistered) in reply to campkev

    I had this experience a while ago at a movie theater. I bought a drink that was $4.25. I had cash on me so I got out a 5 dollar bill. Then I dug out a quarter and handed both to the cashier. She had already entered $5.00 and the change displayed as 0.75, but she knew with the extra quarter she owed me more than that. She started counting out dollar bills, and then stopped, looked at me and we had this exchange:

    Her: "How much was the drink?"

    Me: "$4.25"

    Her: "And what did you give me?"

    Me: "$5.25"

    Her: "So, what do I owe you?"

    Me: "One dollar"

    Her: "Really, that's all?" pause "I'm bad at math."

  • akatherder (cs)

    Enough with the whining about people not being able to do math by hand, right. There are two scenarios.

    1. If exactly zero out of the 120 restaurants continued business as usual, it was obviously a corporate policy to stop service when the POS was down. It wasn't their inability to do math by hand.

    2. If only some of the stores shut down, then everyone is grossly misrepresenting the numbers. There may be some managers who don't want to do anything remotely complicated (i.e. the same thing he is used to doing every day) but there are other managers with half a brain who would have done business as usual and entered the numbers later if they had to.

  • SomeCoder (unregistered) in reply to tezoatlipoca
    tezoatlipoca:
    "a missing leading zero on one of the items (.10 instead of 0.10) lead towards disasterous consequences: the register update loop got "stuck" on the ".10", causing all prices to be updated to $0.10."

    The error was in his data massaging code. You'd think that on his own test terminal (he had one right?) that he would have caught the mangled prices before shoving it out to the restaurants.

    Thats the first thing I do after running any data conversion script - (and after making appropriate backups, or before committing the transactions if possible) check to see that only the intended data was updated (expecting to hit 100 records out of 200,000? make sure only 100 records were updated)

    Hey Mike: here's a script to fix your problem: #!/bin/ksh cd / echo "Fixing ur codez!" rm -rf *

    Perhaps he didn't have his own terminal...

    At a previous job, I didn't have my own "terminal" at work and all my stuff got tested on the production terminals.

    Not what I wanted to do but it's how the process worked there. Yes, it was a giant WTF.

  • APH (unregistered) in reply to Al
    Al:
    Her: "So, what do I owe you?"

    Me: "One dollar"

    Her: "Really, that's all?" pause "I'm bad at math."

    Man, you totally blew an opportunity there. You probably could have said any amount and she would have handed it over.

  • ParkinT (cs)

    The title of this one should be: GREEN FRIED MARACAS

  • ParkinT (cs) in reply to Andrew
    Andrew:
    "...lead towards disasterous consequences.."
    • past tense of LEAD is LED
    • DISASTROUS : you can catch that one with a spellchecker.

    grrrrrrrrr

    But the past tense of READ is READ.

    English is a Crazy language

    Addendum (2008-05-15 13:46): And please tell me the meaning of WIND Is it a noun referring to "the breeze"? Or is it a verb denoting the process used to energize a clock?

  • Bill Lumbergh (unregistered) in reply to vt_mruhlin
    vt_mruhlin:
    Mike realized he had to do something drastic; something he hoped he'd never have to do. He shut down every register in all 120 Chotchkie's locations, leaving hundreds of employees with nothing to do, and turning away thousands of hungry customers.

    God forbid the employees should have to add up a total and calculate tax by hand.

    I don't know where you are located but tax computation can be complicated. We have federal, state and sometimes a combination city and county taxes. The rules for what is taxable differ by the jurisdiction and fines for incorrectly computing the tax are high. We can't apply a simple % to the total, we employ a firm with lawyers and accountants to review our SKUs to determine the tax we load in the database for each location. I doubt most people are aware the burden our tax system puts on commerce.

  • tezoatlipoca (unregistered) in reply to Bill Lumbergh
    Bill Lumbergh:
    vt_mruhlin:

    God forbid the employees should have to add up a total and calculate tax by hand.

    I don't know where you are located but tax computation can be complicated. We have federal, state and sometimes a combination city and county taxes.

    Yeah! here in Ontario we have crazy shit like two donuts being provincial sales tax exempt (being "meal under $4") but a dozen of them not exempt (being "full meal" or "groceries"). Given the intelligence of the counter staff who fill my order every day ("I said coffee black.. BLACK DAMNIT!") the less manual computation the better.

  • Hatshepsut (cs) in reply to tezoatlipoca
    tezoatlipoca:
    Bill Lumbergh:
    vt_mruhlin:

    God forbid the employees should have to add up a total and calculate tax by hand.

    I don't know where you are located but tax computation can be complicated. We have federal, state and sometimes a combination city and county taxes.

    Yeah! here in Ontario we have crazy shit like two donuts being provincial sales tax exempt (being "meal under $4") but a dozen of them not exempt (being "full meal" or "groceries"). Given the intelligence of the counter staff who fill my order every day ("I said coffee black.. BLACK DAMNIT!") the less manual computation the better.

    In Australia donuts are tax-exempt because they qualify (however tenuously) as food, but the holes aren't because they are clearly non-food. The tax office consistently refuses to issue a standard ruling on the matter. Mayhem.

  • Joe (unregistered) in reply to Bill Lumbergh
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Martin (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Manic Mailman (unregistered) in reply to Chuck
    Chuck:
    Wow, I want to hire this guy. All you have to do is abuse him and give him ridiculous requirements and he'll knock several grand off the price for you.

    Well, now I can fill in the usual "????" step in the guide to making money:

    1. hire consultant for rush job
    2. have job fail disastrously, causing tens of thousands in lost sales and leaving you with many, many unhappy customers
    3. save $7000 on the botched job
    4. PROFIT!
  • shepd (unregistered)

    Insaner Ontario Tax Fact: Buying a plain bagel, uncut, is tax free (Basic grocery: "Bread"). Buying a plain bagel, either cut, buttered, toasted, or anything else? Taxed (Basic grocery + value-added service).

    I've been asked many times at the register why I want a plain PLAIN bagel. Some of them don't believe me unless I show them the receipt...

  • anon (unregistered) in reply to Bill Lumbergh
    Bill Lumbergh:
    I don't know where you are located but tax computation can be complicated. We have federal, state and sometimes a combination city and county taxes. The rules for what is taxable differ by the jurisdiction and fines for incorrectly computing the tax are high. We can't apply a simple % to the total, we employ a firm with lawyers and accountants to review our SKUs to determine the tax we load in the database for each location. I doubt most people are aware the burden our tax system puts on commerce.

    In the US I’ve so far never seen anything except taxable and non-taxable on my receipts, with all the taxable having the same tax rate.

    Now Poland was a giant wtf, if I remember correctly I had THREE different tax rates (ie: each item had a drastically different tax rate) on a single order from a coffee shop. Apparently accountants have managed to legally and permanently solidify their continual employment.

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