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This just tickles my funny bone to no end for some unexplainable reason—perhaps because I used to work at Burger King.

Today at work, we had a 15-minute "organizational announcement" teleconference meeting from 2:00-2:15 that repeated, virtually word for word, an e-mail that was sent out last week announcing the changes. In the immortal words of my friend Joe, "I don't understand."

I worked from home today, where I completed the edit of a developer's error messages.

"What exactly do you do?" you ask. Here's an example of what my finished product looks like back to the writer:

General comments:
  1. The message guidelines state to write in complete sentences.

  2. Acronyms (e.g., csv) should be in uppercase, and abbreviations (e.g., recon) shouldn't be used.

  3. There should be a clear delineation between what's an explanation and what's a response. The action the user is to take goes in the response tag (i.e., <OperatorResponse> or <AdminResponse>).

  4. Sometimes you use "the CSV file," sometimes you use "the reconciliation CSV file," and sometimes you use "the reconciliation file." Use the term that the customer would most identify with (or that's most descriptive), and write it that way every time you refer to it.

<Message ID="143E" prefix="yes">

      <MsgText pgmKey="key" varFormat="Java">

            The reconciliation of a manual service failed due to an invalid account header on line <Variable formatSpec="{0}">line_number</Variable> of csv the CSV file. Every entry processed by the reconciliation failed.  The header line must contain at least the required attributes for the account type. [This reads like part of the explanation to me.]



            The header line must contain at least the required attributes for the account type. [Would it be possible to enumerate the required attributes here as part of the explanation?] Check the format of the CSV file used for reconciliation, make required updates and try the recon again. [This is an action for the operator/administrator to take.]



            Check the format of the CSV file used for reconciliation, make the required updates, and try the reconciliation again.  See the message and trace logs for detailed messages. [Is this something the operator/admin should do in addition to checking the format of the CSV file, and only if they don't see what's wrong in the CSV file or something? Explain why/when they would do this additional step. Can you give them an example of a kind of message they would be looking for?]  Check format of reconciliation file to ensure it is correct and try again. [The first sentence already says this.]




2500 of my Starwood Preferred Guest points, which can be exchanged at a rate of 1:1 for almost any airline's frequent flyer points, successfully transferred to American Airlines today, allowing me to purchase a $409 flight between Raleigh and Austin for $55.00.

I was extra excited to be able to book non-stop flights both ways. I'll be arriving in Austin on the evening of Friday, July 20, and returning to Raleigh in the late afternoon on Wednesday, July 25.

I'll be staying with my friend Irene (qualitiesoflife), and some of the weekend festivities include her daughter Katherine's birthday, and a house-warming party in her new home. Irene's sister, who I last saw at this shingdig, will also be there to add to the fun.

I hope to work in the Austin office on Monday and Tuesday, where I can meet several people in my department whom I've never met. It'll also be an opportunity to see my manager who works in Austin, and whom I see probably twice a year at the most.

I walked for an hour and fifteen minutes tonight, and ventured into new areas of my neighborhood. So unlike me to vary my rut route.

During my walk, I listened to a bunch of podcasts:

ABC News Money Minute
The iPHONE Frenzy Continues
Adding Green July Fourth
A Bigger Paycheck
U.S. Economy Having a Growth Spurt
Companies Take Care of Their Employees

Grammar Girl
Nixing the Horrid Of
Wrestling With That First Sentence
Comma Chameleon

Legal Lad
Practices of Quarantines
The Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor
The Fifth Amendment

Mr. Manners
How to Handle a Friend's Breakup
A Few Aspects of Table Manners
Bathroom Manners

NPR: Driveway Moments
Are Computer Keyboards Dishwasher Safe?

Slate Explainer
How Do You Make a Battery Last Longer?
Are Cell-Phone Users Screwing Up the Polls?
Will My Plastic Bag Still Be Here in 2507?
How Long Does 'Roid Rage Last?
How Does the NBA Help Foreign Rookies Adjust to Life in the U.S.?
Can Bartenders Tell If You're Underage?
What's the Top Speed of a Hybrid Car?


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 10th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
As someone who has to both test the product and sometimes support it in the field, I appreciate the work that you do on the messages. Not to mention that some of the messages originate from non-native English speakers and developers (or are those the same thing?) and thus are often very hard to understand without your help.

And yes, that 15 minute call was completely worthless. Like a professor re-reading last night's assignment in today's class.
Jul. 10th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Casey...
For reading and commenting and appreciating my work. Your comment about the ESLers and developers being the same thing made me LOL. :-)

Oh, you were on that call, too? Love the analogy!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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