Well we’re living here in A;;entown
Customers. Is there anyone dumber on the planet? Dunno. Doubtful. Maybe WWF and/or MMA. That actually turns out to be a damn close call.
Anyway, an eCommerce web site allows customers to create their own orders. Some of them don’t seem to realize that the information they enter might be just a wee bit critical to satisfactory order fulfillment.
Take “Mivjael Smoyj” in “A;;entown,” for example.
Oops. I mean “Michael Smith” in “Allentown,” of course. (Not the customer’s real name.) Poor, poor Michael. He doesn’t seem to be able to grok that the location of his fingers on his keyboard actually make a difference to what shows up on his computer screen. Of course, if he happened to look up once in a while…
Apparently he couldn’t be bothered to verify what his fingers typed. Nor could Mivjael be bothered to review his order before clicking the “SUBMIT” button. Nor could he be bother to read, bookmark and/or print the order confirmation page after he submitted his order. Nor could he be bothered to read the order confirmation email we sent. Of course, that email bounced because he had a typo in his email address!
Poor, poor Michael. Somehow he ended up confused. He didn’t even know if our system had accepted his order or charged his credit card. (FYI, biatch. It did both.)
So a few days later he called one of our customer service representatives to double check about his order. She diligently looked for “Michael Smith” but due to his typos, she mistakenly assumed he hadn’t ordered or his order hadn’t gone through. That lined up nicely with his paranoid delusions so together they happily created yet another order for exactly the same shit and charged his credit card again.
Our production department didn’t notice anything wrong and made two sets of the same shit.
Our shipping department didn’t notice anything wrong and shipped two separate boxes of the same shit.
Fast-forward a few days…
Poor, poor Michael. He received his first box and was happy as a clam. Then, a few days later, something rather untoward and not completely pleasant happened. He received a second box from us. This confused his already overloaded brain. What could this possibly mean? I wonder if placing one order on the web site and another by phone might possibly have anything to do with it? What are the odds?
This is where yours truly enters the story…
I received a call from Mivjael today as I was being pimped out as a 50 cent phone whore by my boss. Mivjael was extremely worried that he might have been charged twice. Extremely worried indeed. I checked our credit card processing software and found out, yeah, as a matter of fact, he did get charged twice. I found that rather odd since he only had one order in our system.
Undaunted, I accepted the challenge of yet another Holmesian logic puzzle at work served up courtesy of our blubbering idiot customers. It didn’t take long to unravel the mystery once the game was afoot.
I’m considering a rather dramatic change for my long-planned book. I may have to dump the working title “Society of Assholes.” Now, instead, I’m thinking about going with “The Low-Functioning Society.” What do you think? Which do you think describes us better?
Stranger in a strange comment land
One thing is clear: I write. Badly. Let’s face it – some people have a way with words and some people — well — not have way.
The pen is mightier than the sword, or in this case, the written word. And my sword is dull. I live and die on the ability to edit.
On my own blog this works fairly well. I can go back and edit and re-edit and re-edit again until I’ve cleaned up about 10 percent of the most glaring errors. Then the post is deemed good-to-go. Yes, I have my standards.
On my own blog I am the King. I wield godlike powers over what I have written. I edit with a ruthlessness all my own. I hack and slash words like there is no tomorrow. I correct the spelling of words that got past me and my built-in spellchecker. I fix words that my spellchecker recommended in error that I foolishly accepted. I fix words that even though quite badly misspelled somehow matched something valid in the dictionary. (Keyboard monkey alert!) And finally I go back and read third time with my “reader’s hat” and trim away any unneeded fluffy words. (This step is pure fiction. I never actually trim out any fluffy words. They are all my babies, little bundles of joy that I have birthed. I’m not about to take them out.)
On the other hand, sometimes I venture out onto other people’s blogs…
There I am rendered a stark naked shadow of my former self, all my powers stripped away, left impotent and helpless.
If I make a mistake on a comment, well that is just too damn bad. I’ll have to eat it for all eternity. (Or until the next database glitch, whichever comes first.)
Maybe I decide to share about my stress level and manually type into someone’s WordPress comment field: “Please don’t write to me for the next couple of days. I’m extremely busty right now.” Oops. My bad. Too late. I already clicked the dreaded “Submit Comment” button.
So I have a suggestion for the good folks at WordPress that will fix this once and for all. Give each blog administrator the option to allow editing of comments. Those who don’t want to enable the option, fine. Things will remain exactly as they stand today.
So why not allow comments to be edited? What’s the case against this? Well, for one thing it allows “take backs.” It represents a loss of control for the blog owner. For another, once comments have been saved and replied to, a sneaky person could return and edit their original comment to make the following replies look like they came from a bunch of dumb asses. Nobody wants that, right? (I’m trying to look innocent here.)
For the rest of us, however, a workable solution could go a little something like this:
I think this would be a fantastic solution and would allow people to fix their own mistakes like obvious typos, broken URLs, etc.
Think about it, WordPress, will ya?