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Search - "worst . customer. ever"
This story is 100% true.
I got hired onto a team of construction workers to build a house. We set up a meeting with Management to find out what kind of house they wanted us to build, where’s the floor plan, what it’s going to be used for, who it’s for, etc. Management said that they didn’t know all that, we should just get started. They told us that we were going to use “Agile” which means that we just work on small deliverables and build the thing incrementally.
The developer team lead argued that we at least need to know how big the thing is going to be so that we can get started pouring the foundation, but Management told him they just don’t know. “What we do know,” Management said, “is that the house is going to have a bathroom. Just start there, and we’ll know more when it’s done. You have two weeks.”
So we just bought a port-a-potty, and screwed around on the internet for two weeks. Management was outraged. “You call this a house? This is the worst house ever! It doesn’t even have a tv!”
So we bought a tv and put it in the port-a-potty, attached to an outdoor generator. We were going to buy a a dvd player and get it hooked up to cable, but Management rejected the expense request, saying that they didn’t know if we needed it, and we’d come back to that later.
Management decided that we definitely need storage space, so we bought a boxcar and duct-taped the port-a-potty to it. Then to our horror they set up some desks and put a few miserable business interns in there. It went on like this…
After a few years the boxcar grew into a huge, ramshackle complex. It floods, leaks, it’s frozen in the winter and an oven in the summer. You have to get around in a strange maze of cardboard tubes, ladders and slides. There are two equally horrible separate buildings. We’re still using just the one outdoor generator for all power, so electricity is tightly rationed.
Communication between the buildings was a problem. For one of them, we use a complex series of flag signals. For the other we write notes on paper, crumple the paper up, and toss it over. Both of these methods were suggested as jokes, but Management really liked them for some reason. The buildings mostly talk to each other but they have to talk through us, so most of what we do is pass messages on.
It was suggested that we use paper airplanes instead of crumpled up balls, but the fat, awkward fingers of the Business Majors who inevitably take those jobs couldn’t be trained to make them. I built an awesome automatic paper airplane folder, but once again they couldn’t be trained to use it, so they just went back to crumpling the notes up in balls.
The worst part of all this is that it’s working. Everyone is miserable, but the business is making money. The bright side is that this nightmare complex is done so now we know what kind of building they actually needed in the first place, so we can start work on it. Obviously we can’t tell Management anything about what we’re doing until it’s finished. They noticed the gigantic hole in the ground where the foundation is coming in, but we told them that it’s a cache reset, and they mostly ignore it except when the occasional customer falls in.
I’ll probably be out of here before the new building gets finished. I could get a 50% raise by switching jobs, but Management still doesn’t think I should get a raise because I missed a couple sprints.7
Oh my god... Storytime.
A customer comes in with I assume is his father or grandfather.
Customer: I need a computer, but without all the internals
Me: So a case?
Customer: Yes, I need a Dell computer outsides, but without the internal components.
Me: Well, we don't have Dell cases, but we sell custom build cases and they come with a power supply.
Customer: *says nothing, but looks interested*
Me: *walks over to the cases to show him* So this is what the cases look like and we have two types, one for a ATX and one for a micro-ATX.
Customer: *still says nothing, but looks at them*
Me: What motherboard do you have at the moment?
Customer: Well, I don't have anything right now, but I'm replacing another computer that didn't work very well. I'm going to be getting some Dell parts to put in here.
Me: O-okay. So this other computer, I'd like to see it in shop to see what's going on with it.
Customer: Oh, you do NOT want to do that. I hooked it up to another computer and it blew it up.
Me: Huh, that's weird. I'd still like to look at it if possible.
Customer: Oh no, it's all wired wrong and... *some bullshit, but stay with me*
Customer: I am the best at technology. My hand has computer parts in it--government funded. *some more bullshit*
Me: Okay... *I try to bring it back around* Well, I'd still like to see the other computer for myself. So you don't have parts for this new build yet, right? You don't know what type of motherboard you have?
Me: Well, I would get the internals first, so you know what size of case to get, and then get the case.
Customer: Okay. Thank you for your time.
He shook my hand with his "cyborg" hand and I was tempted to say something about "try not to crush my hand," but elected not to. Also during this entire exchange, the old man continuously farted in the background.24
Worst interview is the one that actually got me where I am today.
Its been 15 years ago, but I remember very well. Since it was a startup back then they didn't really have any job titles yet or what so ever. I applied for the role of network engineer, heck I didn't care I needed a paycheck.
5 minutes into the interview the smalltalk left the room and they started asking me questions, mainly about me as a person. Eventually it was my turn. After my first question I facepalmed so hard.. Do you guys have any SLA or documentation around here? Heard of ITIL? How is your load balancing?
They stared at me as if I was some kind of alien that had just invaded their little safe planet.. it was hilarious.
An hour later they called me to come back in and sign a contract.. from there on I kind of multi tasked my way around the first year.. bit of network support & design, customer support, sending and packaging orders after 5PM.. god we had long but awesome days.. hence, we were just the 5 of us. Nowadays we've got 150 developers out of 1019 total staff currently.. We also improved interview questions and processes ;)7
Discovered one of the worst db designs ever:
- A cust is inserted in a table.
- The insert trigger is fired, calling a stored proc
- The stored proc being called creates a dynamic sql that builds a create table statement for 8 different tables. These tables will be postfixed with the newly-created cust id and is executed.
When querying info for a cust, a stored proc is used that accepts an id value would be appended to another dynamic sql that creates a select statement across all 8 tables for one customer.
Shoot me now.10
Years ago, I was part of a project that went completely off the rails. A little context: we were a services company and we had local offices in cities all over the country. My team provided 2nd-level support which means we often had the PMs call us from those via an annoying Nextel radio.
I won’t go through the details but suffice it to say this project envolved one such branch going rogue and committing actual fraud, with criminal proceedings and all. People were on the edge, and the relationship with that branch was increasingly hostile. There was also an internal power struggle in the company between some directors at that point. In other words, a clusterfuck I’ll always cherish, if by cherish you mean hate hate hate. Anywho…
One time, there was a national holiday on a Thursday and we were going to make it a long weekend. As customary, I communicated with all the PMs about contigency plans. This PM then told us that we could not take Friday off because the customer wanted us to fly over there. We were supposed to be at the customer’s site early Friday morning. That meant we would have to fly Thrusday afternoon. I wasn’t happy.
It immediatly felt arbitrary too. As I said, the relationship was not good and we suspected he was just trying to cost us our days off. I knew enough of the customer to be fairly sure they would not have requested us that Friday. Why did the customer want us then? There was nothing yet on production and if it was just to show progress, surely we could move it to Monday. At worst, can’t we make it over the phone? No, no, no, he said. The customer was adamant that we be there on Friday. Sucked to be us.
So we flew over Thursday afternoon and on Friday morning we headed to the customer’s offices only to find it closed. They too had made it a long weekend and wouldn’t be back until Monday.
Normally I would be furious over the waste of time but to be honest, both I and my colleague smiled at that. It confirmed that the PM just tried to screw us and the customer have never asked for us. We headed back to the local office.
Before coming in, we both bought ourselves some icecream. My friend stayed in the little garden in front and I went in. The PM immediatly saw me and demanded to know why I wasn’t at the customer yet. I didn’t answer. Instead I grabbed the Nextel radio and headed back out with the PM following. I then sat down on the grass and called my director. Smiling and staring at the PM, I told him about the office being closed. The PM’s face froze when my director asked to talk to him.
We sat outside under the sun, enjoying our icecreams while the PM got shouted at. It was the best icecream I’ve ever had.6
My worst experience was at my job where they told me I have to move to a permanent position from 3 years of contracting without a specific offer.
Why is that bad? In my country it means approximatly 40% lower wage.
I came into the job with PHP knowledge when they were looking for Perl on a project one year behind schedule. I learned the language and finished working demo in 6 weeks.
After that, every project that was ever assigned to me was done within 5-15% of the allocated time. I'm not kidding here. My manager loved be, because I was reliable, fast and I even 'accidentaly' solved other problems, like for instance I developed simple syslog search tool and benchmarked zip algos for reading speed, and the fastest had 70% better compression than the algo used before (gzip into plzip on 1-2gb files). That solved anothet problem - syslog servers did not have enough disk space and they didn't have money to upgrade the server.
The number of projects I touched or developed was over 20.
I also lead and developed our team's most successful tool, that every customer was throwing money to buy, while cutting down costs everywhere.
And after three years of that, my manager says that there are no more money for contractors. And the only possibility is going for employment. Without any specific offer! Just 'we cant do this anymore'.
Which I understand, that can happen in corporation, but ffs after all I've done, I expected warmer attitude. Not like 'you may have to leave, since we do not really care'.
I liked the people there, even though the corporation environment was lacking in many respects, but I wanted to help our local branch with everything I could and they gave up on me like that.
So I started looking elsewhere and I found a startup which offered 6 times the money I had in my previous job and promises to relocate me to USA. Which is the best thing that has happened to me that year and second best in my whole life!3
"four million dollars"
TL;DR. Seriously, It's way too long.
That's all the management really cares about, apparently.
It all started when there were heated, war faced discussions with a major client this weekend (coonts, I tell ye) and it was decided that a stupid, out of context customisation POC had that was hacked together by the "customisation and delivery " (they know to do neither) team needed to be merged with the product (a hot, lumpy cluster fuck, made in a technology so old that even the great creators (namely Goo-fucking-gle) decided that it was their worst mistake ever and stopped supporting it (or even considering its existence at this point)).
Today morning, I my manager calls me and announces that I'm the lucky fuck who gets to do this shit.
Now being the defacto got admin to our team (after the last lead left, I was the only one with adequate experience), I suggested to my manager "boss, here's a light bulb. Why don't we just create a new branch for the fuckers and ask them to merge their shite with our shite and then all we'll have to do it build the mixed up shite to create an even smellier pile of shite and feed it to the customer".
"I agree with you mahaDev (when haven't you said that, coont), but the thing is <insert random manger talk here> so we're the ones who'll have to do it (again, when haven't you said that, coont)"
I said fine. Send me the details. He forwarded me a mail, which contained context not amounting to half a syllable of the word "context". I pinged the guy who developed the hack. He gave me nothing but a link to his code repo. I said give me details. He simply said "I've sent the repo details, what else do you require?"
Dafuq? Dude, gimme some spice. Dafuq you done? Dafuq libraries you used? Dafuq APIs you used? Where Dafuq did you get this old ass checkout on which you've made these changes? AND DAFUQ IS THIS TOOL SUPPOSED TO DO AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT MY PRODUCT?
Anyway, since I didn't get a lot of info, I set about trying to just merge the code blindly and fix all conflicts, assuming that no new libraries/APIs have been used and the code is compatible with our master code base.
Enter delivery head. 2nd motherfucker.
This coont neither has technical knowledge nor the common sense to ask someone who knows his shit to help out with the technical stuff.
I find out that this was the half assed moron who agreed to a 3 day timeline (and our build takes around 13 hours to complete, end to end). Because fuck testing. They validated the their tool, we've tested our product. There's no way it can fail when we make a hybrid cocktail that will make the elephants foot look like a frikkin mojito!
Anywho, he comes by every half-mother fucking-hour and asks whether the build has been triggered.
Bitch. I have no clue what is going on and your people apparently don't have the time to give a fuck. How in the world do you expect me to finish this in 5 minutes?
Anyway, after I compile for the first time after merging, I see enough compilations to last a frikkin life time. I kid you not, I scrolled for a complete minute before reaching the last one.
Again, my assumption was that there are no library or dependency changes, neither did I know the fact that the dude implemented using completely different libraries altogether in some places.
Now I know it's my fault for not checking myself, but I was already having a bad day.
I then proceeded to have a little tantrum. In the middle of the floor, because I DIDN'T HAVE A CLUE WHAT CHANGES WERE MADE AND NOBODY CARED ENOUGH TO GIVE A FUCKING FUCK ABOUT THE DAMN FUCK.
Lo and behold, everyone's at my service now. I get all things clarified, takes around an hour and a half of my time (could have been done in 20 minutes had someone given me the complete info) to find out all I need to know and proceed to remove all compilation problems.
Hurrah. In my frustration, I forgot to push some changes, and because of some weird shit in our build framework, the build failed in Jenkins. Multiple times. Even though the exact same code was working on my local setup (cliche, I know).
In any case, it was sometime during sorting out this mess did I come to know that the reason why the 2nd motherfucker accepted the 3 day deadline was because the total bill being slapped to the customer is four fucking million USD.
Greed. Wow. The fucker just sacrificed everyone's day and night (his team and the next) for 4mil. And my manager and director agreed. Four fucking million dollars. I don't get to see a penny of it, I work for peanut shells, for 15 hours, you'll get bonuses and commissions, the fucking junior Dev earns more than me, but my manager says I'm the MVP of the team, all I get is a thanks and a bad rating for this hike cycle.
4mil usd, I learnt today, is enough to make you lick the smelly, hairy balls of a Neanderthal even though the money isn't truly yours.4
Riding along on a demo is the worst thing ever.
-Customer clicks buttons and things happen-
Customer: "Hey that's cool!"
Customer is now happy and excited.
Sales: "Hey would you like it to also.... "
- A LOT OF SHIT THAT THE THING DOESN'T DO / COMPLICATES / OVERLAPS SOME THINGS ELSEWHERE-
so... 9 years ago we had this super awesome codebase. 1 file, complete logic COPIED to be used in ui and service/daemon. I scrolled to the middle of the file and there was no source. it was out of bounds of my monitor to the right because of nested ifs. ok... what the fuck!! the worst part: I had to implement a new FEATURE into this mess. 2 days. I said it would not work as expected because the feature was not thought through. but project said let's gooooo! ok there I was, a junior with an impossible to implement feature and a codebase from hell. I've implemented something, all night long. next day it was the problem of the consultants. they called me, I told them why it's impossible that this would ever work, they understood and talked to the customer. he accepted the solution. WTF?! anyway, in those days I thought about quitting developing software as my daily job....4
*Not a rant, but a very long vent*
I'm 20 and facing the worst dilemma I ever experienced.
Been working at a company for more than half a year, got the job thru a friend and started as an intern to take care of customer problems, crap they do to PC's, printers that wouldn't work, answer emails and phone calls about our point-of-sale software.
Soon everything started to change, on one day my boss asked my what I knew about coding, all I could answer was about some really basic stuff that I learnt on a previous semester at college, just some very basic coding stuff we got for C, how for loops works, conditions, that kind of thing. Soon I was being asked to code a client management software for our company, I was starting to grasp a little of this wonderful world, soon I could write some more complex code in C#, even did a program that in 30 seconds did a 3 day's worth of work, and then I got assigned to develop a mobile POS application, earned a raise, and man, is this wonderful.
I feel that I really found my place in life, found something that makes me jump out of bed every morning.
But here comes the dilemma part: I'm enrolled in a mechanical engineering school for two years now, and it's my second place already (been enrolled at a agronomy school before that) and I'm starting to feel out of place, in all the classes I'm taking, I cant help but feel that this isn't for me, I don't see myself doing that for a future, but I don't know if jumping to another boat would make it any better or just worse, I don't know how good are my odds at a tech oriented course are, I don't really know what to do with the rest of my life.
Guess I'm just afraid of doing something stupid and regret it later, don't know if I should listen to the voice that shouts to me to do whatever I want to with my life or the one that assures me of a stable path... Don't know if anyone will read this much, but if so, thanks a lot, just wanted to put it out of my shoulders and maybe get to know anyone that has been here. I'm new here, but I feel already at home. ☺8
A customer requested the graphic drafts for a website with a serious design. He left me the complete freedom. After six shot down including three drafts inspired to important designers and one inspired to material design, I decided to make something absurd asking the customer his favorite colors. I am ashamed to have created a design with shades of green, white, orange and yellow on a green background. He said it was fantastic.3
I looked at an SQL server today from a customer, talked with one of their devs and he said that he's unable to understand why the server misbehaves... All (!) queries were optimized, but they have 'big data queries'... Migraine started, I had a very bad feeling. Monitoring? Nooooppeeee. Migraine kicks in. Connected to server. SHOW GLOBAL VARIABLES...
After a bit of scrolling I found a lot of misconfigured variables (e.g. extreme large join buffers, unrealistic buffer sizes), high slow query count (nearly 60 % of COM_SELECT) and a few variables that were unknown to me.
Then came the version line.
Big data? Well... 30 GB of usage data.
I called the company back... The dev told me sternly that this was the production server (I had hope...) and that I lie - neither the version, nor the variables could be the problem.
A coworker had to verify it and our manager had to do the communication... Worst, most traumatic working day I ever had.