Thursday, April 19, 2007

Leading the Blind

"Achtung! Ein Schild steht vor Ihnen!" I yelled today. "Watch out! There's a sign in front of you!" The stupid bakery fucks had put up their A-frame ad right in the middle of a walkway and a blind woman was trying to negotiate her way to the S-Bahn entrance.

"Thank you," she said.
"One meter to the right and it's clear."
"Thank you very much."

Every so often in Munich you'll see a blind person going the wrong way or about to run into some person or object. People are generally helpful here and will try to stop this person from getting hurt or confused and that's a good thing. They generally do this by grabbing the blind person's arm. This is a very bad thing. Never grab blind people; talk or shout but don't just grab them.

On Monday some twit decided he was going to be Mr Macho and guide a blind girl through the damned station. She apparently didn't know that the escalators at Isartor are backwards; you have to go on the left side, not the right. He just grabbed her arm and started pulling her. She had to be used to this but the initial look on her face was panic. After I'd grabbed my coffay I went down to the platform and this guy was right in front of me, oblivious to everything. As we got to the bottom and he was wandering aimlessly, I grabbed his arm firmly from behind. He jumped.

"That's what you just did to her, and you can see what the hell's going on around you."
I noticed the woman smile just a little bit.

"Don't grab blind people. Talk. Shout. Tap their elbows gently if you must, but Do. Not. Grab. Blind. People."
"OK, OK, I get it."

You do now, sunshine.

Twenty-four minutes later I was in the office and two minutes after than leading another blind man. Mini-me popped up on my screen. It's this stupid ticket he's been dealing with all week about our client uninstaller not working. $BigPowerCo used our BCAI ($BigCorp Automatic Installer) to build a standard client installation which they could then auto-install via the network. The problem was that it wouldn't uninstall. You have to rip the program out manually, making registry changes including deleting classes. Users don't have the permissions and automating a manual removal is tricky.

He'd gone back and forth with them and was out of ideas.

"Have you tried using the BCAI yourself?"
"Yeah, it works fine."
"I meant their BCAI."
"No. Should I have them send it to me?"
"That would probably be a good idea."

The file was on our FTP site today. Paul ran it and finally regained his sight:
"Check out the BCAI.INI file: UninstallManager = no"

Yes, this was a variable they'd set. The default value is "yes". As my head started on its path toward the dent in front of my keyboard it was stopped by the searing pain in my shoulder and neck, the result of a cramp or strain on Wednesday. Pain is pain, though, and as long as you feel it you know you're not quite dead yet.

Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit.
x-posted to HuSi, with a poll.

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