Yeah, right

Programmer at a remote site is testing changes to a mainframe application, but they keep causing the test system to crash, reports a systems programmer pilot fish.

"The programmer called to seek my assistance in debugging his application," fish says. "I told him to prepare to duplicate the problem, sign on and enter the prerequisite transactions.

"Once set up, he was to call me. I would start a trace, and he could then enter the failing transaction. It was near the end of my normal workday, but I would stay to assist him with this."

But by the time programmer calls again, fish is hip-deep in someone else's high-priority production problem.

Hang tight, fish tells programmer, I'll deal with your test as soon as I'm done with this production problem.

But a minute after he hangs up, fish receives an automated alert reporting that programmer's application has crashed again.

"I completed my work on the production problem and left for the day, not feeling too inclined to stay after hours to assist someone who wouldn't work with me by following simple instructions," says fish.

Next day, programmer calls and asks fish, "Did you see anything in the trace?"

No, there was no trace, fish says. I told you to wait until I could get set up. Why didn't you wait?

"It was an accident," programmer says.

An accident?

"Yes, I had a manual on top of my monitor, and it fell and hit the Enter key."

Says fish, "I shook my head and replied incredulously, 'That's amazing!' and hung up.

"He called right back. I told him, 'Sorry, a manual dropped on my phone switch hook and disconnected us.'"

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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