By Allan Richardson
I was attempting to complete an online appointment request form for a non-urgent plumbing job.
I filled in all the contact details, except for the phone number, the format being:
Prefilled country code field: +61. Tick.
(###) ### ####. Hmm.
Do people still have landlines? Not really, though this format started disappearing in 1994 and was totally gone by 1997.
The rest of the website’s functionality was schmick. The world’s first ever website appeared in 1991, so chronology dictates it’s older than the plumber that I’d used previously.
So, donning my lateral thinking cap, and noticing that the postcode field was missing, and that I’d had no difficulty with this page previously, I concluded that their website had been:
Triumphant trumpet fanfare …
*** UPGRADED ***
And the 11yo interning technician may have had a few too many red cordials and inadvertently added a digit field; one too many for a mobile format. And the software clearly expected the phone fields to be completed before accepting SUBMIT. A dead end for me …
I rang and spoke to a nice woman, surprisingly chatty at 07:40, who was surprised, but not dismissive of my issue on the phone. I don’t sound like a doddery git in his 80th year apparently lol Video OFF!
Now for the Samaritanisation; they can’t do my job, but I had a job only half completed myself, so I opened their site once more. Then I had to re-enter all my details, and a message describing what I was doing, and that I’d added a zero to my phone number, and voila! SUBMITTED!
‘Oops, I accidentally deleted the postcode field. Hang on, I’ll ju… OK, coming, mum!’.
As a devout 🙏 follower of the 🔱 ‘Why wouldn’t you offer a hand if you thought it might help, and you have no pressing engagements’ (better known by the catchy initialism WWYOAHIYTIMHAYHNPE (An acronym if you’re of Polish xtrykzyn)) lifestyle choice, though probably tagged as a meddling fucking opinionated interfering old git (who’s impervious to your barbs, you beardless whelp, you whipper-snapper!).
If confronted by precocious technokinder, learn the following patter:
‘I’m not really up to date with these basic wee computers. My expertise is in supercomputers, mostly designed by Seymour Cray (no, not one of the brothers, so don’t worry about a surprise kickin’). These developed hundreds of Petaflops using pipeline burst technology and needing Nitrogen cooling. One Petaflop, as any professional like yourself would know, but just to refresh your memory, is one quadrillion floating-point operations per second. Or a thousand Teraflops. Or a million Gigaflops. Or a billion Megaflops. Or … What’s that? I’ll let you get back to your little hobby. Sorry, chore’.
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