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Out of sorts - Drinking from the Fire Hose — LiveJournal
and trying not to drown

Mrs_Sweetpeach
Date: 2009-04-15 18:07
Subject: Out of sorts
Security: Public
Location:home
Mood:morosemorose
Tags:work
I feel like whinging for a bit, and so I shall. Work is changing VoIP providers. Theoretically, this could be a good thing as the voice quality of our previous provider was awful. The new provider has its own issues, starting with a confusing interface and a poorly written users manual. For example, when you want to record the message callers hear when they call the main number, is the command "1-manage greetings" or is it "2-manage recordings"? No examples are given for either type.

And I have to reproduce my favorite bit from the manual (concerning adding extensions):

If you choose Option 1, then you can select 1 of 2 options:
Option 1: Retrieve employee voicemail or
NOTE:DO NOT CHOOSE THIS OPTION. IT SHOULD NOT BE ON THIS PAGE.
Option 2: Retrieve voicemail for a specific group account.

I may write more later. Right now I have to leave and visit with one of my friends at the funeral home. (She's fine; it is her mother who is no longer with us.)
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maddiec24
User: maddiec24
Date: 2009-04-16 02:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*hugs*
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2009-04-16 22:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks, Sweetie! I keep hoping that as the weather warms and the days continue to lengthen I'll feel more like myself, but so far, no go.
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alpaca princess
User: renniekins
Date: 2009-04-16 11:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Wow. Now that is some amazing documentation!
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2009-04-16 22:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
All I can figure is that they were thinking "It's so much easier to put a line into the users manual than to actually fix the program!" I also like that the user isn't told what will happen if option 1 is selected. Does it just not work? Does something evil happen, for example, having all your custom settings deleted?
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Jen
User: greenlady2
Date: 2009-04-17 01:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Gah! That's horrible. :-)))

Whenever I come across something so impenetrable, I think it must be some kind of code. Like, if you take the third letter of every other word, you get the message: Help! I'm a prisoner in the manual writing factory. Or something.
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2009-04-29 19:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
A secret message would be clever and if it didn't mean bad things about the software or service provider, I think I might enjoy seeing one. Here I think the message is a not-so-subtle dig at the programmers. Rather than fix a known problem, we'll just include a line in the manual (with a hidden subtext of "and I so hate working for a company so lax about quality, I'll actually put this into the manual even though it could get me fired.")
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mbumby: scrapbook
User: mbumby
Date: 2009-04-24 17:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:scrapbook
Hmmm... That looks more to me like someone (programmer? documenter? editor?) discovered an issue and left that note, meant to be a FLAG TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT WITH THE DOCS HERE, which was then taken literally. Sigh. More disturbing, "this option" when placed between option 1 and option 2, I find to be imprecise and ambiguous. Do they mean the following or the preceding one???
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Mrs_Sweetpeach
User: mrs_sweetpeach
Date: 2009-04-29 18:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Perhaps, but inside the users manual is not where a note to the programmers/persons-in-power should be recorded. When I see something like this I tend to think that the person writing it is so fed up with the company that they don't care if they're fired and that it is meant to serve as a warning that the company does not care about fixing known problems.

And you're right, the meaning of the note is ambiguous. Until you pointed it out, I thought it refered to the first option. But upon reflection, you are correct and it could belong to either one.
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