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Randomness XVIII: Ex-Vee-Triple-Eye


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5 hours ago, Green Eyed Monsty said:

Good for you.

Too many in "management" have the arrogance to "assume" that the world revolves around them and the time and schedule disruption they create are problems to be dealt with by "other people". 

Thankfully, the words "and how do I fulfill my mandatory rest periods in between days as a Schedule 1 driver" usually gets them to think twice, doubly so if I add in "so you're talking with Transport Canada about getting an exception for all of us, right?" (hint: they don't provide exceptions).  If that doesn't for some strange reason I just play the "it's not on my regularly scheduled hours, can't make it sorry" card. 

 

So thankful that at my new job work/life balance is a massive thing.  Sure, I don't get crazy massive cheques, but ten hours of overtime over two weeks while I'm learning a route (aaaand the city starts three new "digging a hole" projects in my area a day) is icing on the cake, doubly so since everything is actively balanced between the drivers...  And I should be down to just regular hours soon, because a) I'm figuring out more of the tricks for my area and b) we might have that vacant driver position finally filled! 

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1 minute ago, WhiteWulfe said:

Thankfully, the words "and how do I fulfill my mandatory rest periods in between days as a Schedule 1 driver" usually gets them to think twice, doubly so if I add in "so you're talking with Transport Canada about getting an exception for all of us, right?" (hint: they don't provide exceptions).  If that doesn't for some strange reason I just play the "it's not on my regularly scheduled hours, can't make it sorry" card. 

 

So thankful that at my new job work/life balance is a massive thing.  Sure, I don't get crazy massive cheques, but ten hours of overtime over two weeks while I'm learning a route (aaaand the city starts three new "digging a hole" projects in my area a day) is icing on the cake, doubly so since everything is actively balanced between the drivers...  And I should be down to just regular hours soon, because a) I'm figuring out more of the tricks for my area and b) we might have that vacant driver position finally filled! 

Good Job!  Beating them over the head with rules they can't ignore is always so much fun.

And Transport Canada is just as inflexible as the Department of Transportation in the USA.

GEM

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10 hours ago, kristof65 said:

No, I don't mean political stuff, I'm talking about customers who call in for service, but you can't quite figure out what their issue really is because they're reporting their issues with their own biased "troubleshooting". 

I've confused techs at the ISP when I start with "here's the problem I'm experiencing" followed by "and here's the steps I tried".  Oh, and if a tech asks me to do something simple like power cycle the router, I'll do it (and usually try to leave my grumbling off the call, since the ones that ask this aren't necessarily flowcharting you, they could very well be watching what happens when it fires back up and starts the handshake process). 

 

Actually got a comment back once along the lines of "you've memorized over half of our basic flowchart... In the order we ask it..." but they were a good sport about it. 

 

I'd rather say the problem, what I've tried, and let them use their knowledge and tools to figure out what the problem could be.  But I was also trained by someone in the military who was good friends with logistics, so maybe some of that due diligence got knocked into my head far enough it won't get out.  (dad felt the best friend when in the field wasn't the army guys watching your back - it was logistics.  They come in with your stuff, help them out, even if it's just "hey, you look tired, want a coffee or tea?") 

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Time for some historical happenings for October 14th:

  • 1322 – Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeated King Edward II of England at the Battle of Old Byland, forcing Edward to accept Scotland's independence.

  • 1947 – Chuck Yeager became the first person to exceed the speed of sound.

  • 2012 – Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner successfully jumped to Earth from a balloon in the stratosphere.

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10 hours ago, WhiteWulfe said:

I've confused techs at the ISP when I start with "here's the problem I'm experiencing" followed by "and here's the steps I tried".  Oh, and if a tech asks me to do something simple like power cycle the router, I'll do it (and usually try to leave my grumbling off the call, since the ones that ask this aren't necessarily flowcharting you, they could very well be watching what happens when it fires back up and starts the handshake process). 

 

Actually got a comment back once along the lines of "you've memorized over half of our basic flowchart... In the order we ask it..." but they were a good sport about it. 

 

I'd rather say the problem, what I've tried, and let them use their knowledge and tools to figure out what the problem could be.  But I was also trained by someone in the military who was good friends with logistics, so maybe some of that due diligence got knocked into my head far enough it won't get out.  (dad felt the best friend when in the field wasn't the army guys watching your back - it was logistics.  They come in with your stuff, help them out, even if it's just "hey, you look tired, want a coffee or tea?") 

I do the same to a company who's av equipment we use at work. They always start with the same 8 things when I call their support line so I just open with I ran those 8 tests before calling here's all the results. 

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1 hour ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

I do the same to a company who's av equipment we use at work. They always start with the same 8 things when I call their support line so I just open with I ran those 8 tests before calling here's all the results. 

I have a number of customers who do similar for us, and I really appreciate it. 

One of the big issues I face almost daily is trying to determine if an issue is within our system, or external to it, and then if it's internal, is it a physical problem or a software problem, and if it's a software problem, is it a bug or a configuration issue and in which unit?   I support something like 15 different products, and they can be combined in literally hundreds of different configurations. Throw in constant software updates to all of those products, and the sheer number of external equipment it can connect to, and we have at least tens of thousands of possible combinations. 

The biggest challenge in tracking down configuration issues and bugs is really about gathering the necessary data, especially if they're intermittent. Sometimes that really means that someone just needs to play with the equipment to figure out how to recreate the problem.  If a site is willing to do that and report without bias, they're often going to get a fix sooner, rather than later. 

For the longest time, I had a site manager at a site in Western Colorado who loved doing that. He found at least half a dozen bugs for us, including one that we had known about for 5 years, but had never been able to duplicate ourselves.  

I was so pissed when the site owner decided to replace him with his worthless brother in law.  I got so fed up with the brother in law that I revoked their direct support status and made them start using their local distributor - they had originally been grandfathered in for direct support because their local distributor didn't exist at the time their site was built. 

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Neighbor behind us is into Archery and has set up Archery Butts in his back yard.  He had a full bale of hay near the butts, probably an extra from when he built the butts.

The largest group of Virginia Range Wild Horses discovered the bale of hay a couple days ago and have been visiting the bale on a regular basis.  Last night at sunset they were still feasting on the hay.  They are still there this morning.

John is going to have "just a little bit" of cleanup work to do from the "calling cards" left by his guests.

GEM

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5 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

He found at least half a dozen bugs for us, including one that we had known about for 5 years, but had never been able to duplicate ourselves.  

Just thinking about this bug again made me chuckle.  It was one that would drain the balance on a prepaid fleet card, or double the balance on a post paid one.   We never found any evidence that it was happening to fleet cards sites issued to their customers, only to ones issued to their employees, and then rarely - it happened a dozen times a year at most. 

It had never happened to the the site manager before, just one of his employees, but once it happened to him, he was determined to figure out how.  IIRC, it took him 3-4 months of playing around to figure it out. 

The sequence to recreate it was something like this:

Put some coins in, but not enough to start the bay.  Press the start button several times.  Alternate pressing the Clear and Stop buttons at least twice. Swipe a fleet card, and start the bay.  Press stop to stop the bay before the minimum time threshold was reached, then start the bay using cash again. 


Engineering had a fix within 24 hours of knowing how to recreate it.  And it finally made sense why it was only affecting employees - the only reason anyone would have to do that sequence of events is if a cash customer had a problem, started pressing random buttons and then an employee came to help them. 

Engineering said that in theory it could have happened to a credit card user as well (double charge them), but fortunately, 99.9% of the people who swipe a credit card are going to run the bay for longer than the minimum time threshold, cause they're getting billed for it either way. 
 

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I'm ordering supplies on FedEx right now.   The label that I use has a minimum order quantity of 200, but the website keeps telling me I don't use that many, that I can only order 100 at a time, and to please reduce the quantity I'm ordering to 100. 

Sure, I'd like to comply, but I literally can't. 

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