I’ve just been looking through some of my recent (or quasi-recent) posts, and HOLY COW my weblog is boring lately. Whither have ye gone, o interesting and witty posts of yestermonths? True, those were written in a more carefree time, but surely I have a few drops of clever left in me despite all the recent collisions with the adult version of reality. I would blame it all on the weather (yesterday was 86 degrees Fahrenheit and EIGHTY-NINE PERCENT HUMIDITY, which circumstance makes me want to invent a giant vacuum with which to banish all moisture and heat to the far reaches of outer space whilst I lie motionless beneath six industrial-strength and fully operational air conditioning units), but it’s actually been a pretty decent (read “cool”) summer thus far. Guess I’ll have to find another excuse. Any suggestions?

Support should never be necessary

This is the beginning of a post from The Daily WTF. Visit the site (link handily provided in the previous sentence and at the end of the second paragraph) to read a few of the reports that the helpdesk staff submitted – they are nothing short of brilliant.

Not too long ago, the CTO at Dudley H.’s company had a startling revelation: there should never, ever be a need for technical support. If a client has an issue using one of their products, then the problem is most certainly in the product. Maybe the UI is a little confusing. Maybe it’s not documented enough. Maybe the documentation isn’t clear enough. Whatever the case, every client issue means that someone — be it the developer, tester, or helpdesk technician — didn’t do their job properly and should strive to improve themselves.

Of course, the counterargument to the CTO’s revelation, lobbied primarily by the helpdesk staff, was that many users are simply lazy, stupid, or lazy and stupid, and no amount of improvement could ever change that. Not that it mattered, though. The CTO was determined and set a new policy that all client issues were to have “problem/improvement” reports written about them, and that all reports were to be reviewed at the higest level. Being the loyal employees that they were, Dudley and his fellow helpdesk technicians began developing these reports.

Make way for ducklings

As I was coming up to a green light on a really busy road* just a few minutes ago, I noticed that the car in the right lane hadn’t started moving yet. A few seconds later I realized why and hit the brakes: A family of ducks was making its way slowly across the road, completely indifferent to traffic and with webbed feet that seemed to be immune to the hot pavement (would that I had such feet). I came to a stop while the ducks meandered nonchalantly across the street, taking their sweet time, and waited, smiling, for them to cross. What a cute moment.

Speaking of cute moments, my (freaking AWESOME) landlord, who lives in the other side of our two-apartment house, had a big family barbecue party yesterday. There were lots of people of all ages (he said that at one time they had five generations out there) and they were all having such fun – the boys vs. girls beachball/volleyball game with the “referee” and spectators calling out comments, the Grillmaster who made my friends and me delicious hamburgers (they absolutely insisted even though we’d just come to say hi), the kids and adults splashing in and out of the pool, the kids in the giant inflatable bouncing house, the people milling around and socializing and laughing. Our landlord and his wife are pretty much the nicest and happiest people I’ve ever met, and I wonder at least once a day how we managed to luck out so thoroughly. It’s great to know there are such amazing and down-to-earth people in the world, and even better to get to spend time with them.

And speaking of amazing people, my very close friend SDY is in town for a few days. She is SO much fun! I hadn’t realized how uptight I’ve been feeling until she came and I suddenly felt like myself again. Would that she could find it in her heart to move back to Boston…

*Coming off Route 2 next to Alewife and turning right – an turn that, when the light is green, I usually take at about 40 mph).