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Old 29th July 2022, 04:20 AM   #1241
Norman Alexander
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
When I first started using remote control tools, we were specifically forbidden from doing this. The guidelines were very clear. We had to ask permission to initiate the remote control - we weren't allowed to say "this will pop up and ask you to confirm, please just press yes". We were to instruct the user that they must monitor what we did at all times - they weren't allowed to leave their desk for the duration of the control. And we were required to disconnect before ending the call and advise them that we were disconnecting.

It's a whole bunch less strict now, but I still balk at saying "just press yes".
That is actually our rule too. But in fact our users are of the mind that they will busy themselves with something else while our techs try to unravel the mess they had made. They very quickly get bored watching the mouse pointer go round and arcane windows pop up and close, etc. They are hospital techs, not PC wizards. So whatever we do, they did not understand and could not care less. They just want it fixed pronto.
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Old 29th July 2022, 07:36 AM   #1242
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At one point I reinstalled Windows while working from home, so IT had to remotely install a piece of software on my home PC so I could work remotely. The copy I saved had become outdated. They started my browser to download the file to my PC but couldn't, until I briefly took control and disabled the NoScript addon in my browser.
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Old 29th July 2022, 07:46 AM   #1243
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I sat there for 10 minutes watching this lady ordering Universal Studio season passes in a web browser after putting in a ticket demanding I install some software for her "immediately."

It was not a case of "LOL I know better than IT."
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Old 29th July 2022, 07:59 AM   #1244
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11 months and they finally closed my ticket. To be honest, I was looking forward to a very sarcastic first birthday party
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Old 29th July 2022, 09:54 AM   #1245
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When I was a user and the support people remoted in, they ALWAYS had difficulty understanding the concept of "I mouse with the left hand, buttons are reversed." This, of course, was at Boeing, where they used tech support from the lowest outside bidder.
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Old 31st July 2022, 12:33 PM   #1246
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
When I was a user and the support people remoted in, they ALWAYS had difficulty understanding the concept of "I mouse with the left hand, buttons are reversed." This, of course, was at Boeing, where they used tech support from the lowest outside bidder.
Oh, you were one of those!
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Old 31st July 2022, 09:08 PM   #1247
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
When I was a user and the support people remoted in, they ALWAYS had difficulty understanding the concept of "I mouse with the left hand, buttons are reversed." This, of course, was at Boeing, where they used tech support from the lowest outside bidder.
I'm ambimoustrous, so I'd always just swap mousing hands.

That is until I got an ergo mouse for WHS. They're pretty uncomfortable to use wrong-handed.
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Old 31st July 2022, 10:13 PM   #1248
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I'm ambimoustrous, so I'd always just swap mousing hands.

That is until I got an ergo mouse for WHS. They're pretty uncomfortable to use wrong-handed.
It was easier with the first Apple computer mice.

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Old 1st August 2022, 01:23 AM   #1249
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
It was easier with the first Apple computer mice.

I think you will find that is a microphone.

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Old 1st August 2022, 01:25 AM   #1250
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I'm ambimoustrous, so I'd always just swap mousing hands.

That is until I got an ergo mouse for WHS. They're pretty uncomfortable to use wrong-handed.
I've been using a trackball for about 2 decades now - it works as a great physical security device - tech support having to come to my desk always hated it.
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Old 1st August 2022, 02:02 AM   #1251
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
When I was a user and the support people remoted in, they ALWAYS had difficulty understanding the concept of "I mouse with the left hand, buttons are reversed." This, of course, was at Boeing, where they used tech support from the lowest outside bidder.
I have three things that tended to screw up other people on my PC.
I have the taskbar at the side & hidden as it's less intrusive for me, my Caps Lock key is disabled in the registry and I use my own mouse that has it's sensitivity cranked up to moderate-high levels, which given how turgid most people have it normally comes as a surprise
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Old 1st August 2022, 02:50 AM   #1252
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I think you will find that is a microphone.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...78d6de94b8.jpg
An ambimoustrous microphone.
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Old 2nd August 2022, 06:53 AM   #1253
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Dearest, dearest User: the July data is found in the file named "July Data". The June data is in the file named "June Data". The August data (and this will amaze you) will be found in a file to be named "August Data". Do you detect a pattern here? Of course you do not, and of course you have to email me every month to ask which file contains which month's data. If I ever find a way to arrange an Excel file that kills the person who opens it I'll be sure to label it "November Data" and tell you it contains the May data you want.
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Old 2nd August 2022, 01:17 PM   #1254
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Dearest, dearest User: the July data is found in the file named "July Data". The June data is in the file named "June Data". The August data (and this will amaze you) will be found in a file to be named "August Data". Do you detect a pattern here? Of course you do not, and of course you have to email me every month to ask which file contains which month's data. If I ever find a way to arrange an Excel file that kills the person who opens it I'll be sure to label it "November Data" and tell you it contains the May data you want.
Next you're going to tell me the data files are in folders by years, so if I ever need to review the June 2019 data I have to find a folder named "2019" and look in it for the file "June Data.xls." Man, that's complicated! How do you ever expect me to figure that out?
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Old 2nd August 2022, 07:11 PM   #1255
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I just wasted about ten minutes because someone filled out a template incorrectly.

I never cease to be amazed at the variety of ways in which people mess up this template. I'd love to have it converted to an online form, with validated inputs, but there's nothing to suggest that might happen any time soon, or at all.
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Old 2nd August 2022, 09:20 PM   #1256
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I just wasted about ten minutes because someone filled out a template incorrectly.

I never cease to be amazed at the variety of ways in which people mess up this template. I'd love to have it converted to an online form, with validated inputs, but there's nothing to suggest that might happen any time soon, or at all.
Half seriously...

Tell them there is a payslip bonus if they get it right first time.
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Old 2nd August 2022, 11:08 PM   #1257
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Half seriously...

Tell them there is a payslip bonus if they get it right first time.
Quite apart from that not actually being true, I don't think it would work anyway because the template is pretty ambiguous and open to interpretation.
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Old 3rd August 2022, 12:44 AM   #1258
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Quite apart from that not actually being true, I don't think it would work anyway because the template is pretty ambiguous and open to interpretation.
There's yer problem.
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Old 3rd August 2022, 01:00 AM   #1259
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I’ve just had yet another conversation with the PA of my boss on the subject of a six-monthly report that I collate and publish. She wants a monthly copy of the report. I update it twice a year because that’s when the data are available. She wants a new copy every month even though nothing is changing. I’m asking for a business case to justify it. This will run and run.
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Old 3rd August 2022, 01:03 AM   #1260
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Originally Posted by malbui View Post
I’ve just had yet another conversation with the PA of my boss on the subject of a six-monthly report that I collate and publish. She wants a monthly copy of the report. I update it twice a year because that’s when the data are available. She wants a new copy every month even though nothing is changing. I’m asking for a business case to justify it. This will run and run.
Are you seated near a photocopier?
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Old 3rd August 2022, 01:14 AM   #1261
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
There's yer problem.
I know.

I honestly don't know how to do it better. And I've been thinking about it. A lot.

The template I'm referring to is what we call the Phone Button Template. It's used to set Lines and Speed Dials on desk phones, primarily for Executive Assistants and other staff who have the expansion module on their phones. Each button on the module can be set to either a Line (someone else's phone number that rings on your phone) or Speed Dials (numbers that you can dial with one button). We have a set number of configurations that we can set these to - four Lines then twenty SDs, or five Lines and fifteen SDs, etcetera. This is the first sticking point. They always want to arrange their Lines and SDs in ways our system will not allow. There is a big label at the top that says "KEEP LINES AND SPEED DIALS TOGETHER - THEY CANNOT BE INTERSPERSED" but who reads instructions anyway?

The second sticking point is that our phone numbers are listed in the format (12) 3456 7890 like regular Australian land line numbers. But in our VoIP system they are listed with only a five-digit extension number which is the last four digits of the phone number plus a single digit at the beginning indicating the state. So of course people give us the full numbers, and we have to do a find & replace to convert the full number to the five-digit extension before we can start entering them.

The third thing is that we ask them to highlight changes on the spreadsheet. If they want to modify their existing configuration, highlight the entries that you'd like changed. Simple, but again, who reads instructions?

The fourth thing is that they keep their spreadsheets and just amend them when they need changes, which means that when we get them they have titles like "Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of John Smith Phone Button Template.xlsx" and it's an outdated version of the template that we updated three years ago.

What triggered my initial post is that we got a request to, among other things, change the last entry from a Speed Dial to a Line. But they had already specified that the Line be added higher up on the template. What they should have done is just delete that row from the spreadsheet. Instead, they left it, highlighted it, and added a comment saying "change from Speed Dial to Line". Unfortunately this involved changing their setup from 14 Lines to 15 Lines, which because of our nightmarish system meant I had to basically delete all their Lines, change their setup, then re-add the Lines. When I got to the last one I got an error saying that it had already been added. If they'd filled out the spreadsheet right, I could have just made the two changes they requested without having to change their setup at all. Hence, ten minutes of my valuable time wasted.
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Old 3rd August 2022, 01:20 AM   #1262
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Are you seated near a photocopier?
I know I could simply rename the file and update some key fields but it’s the principle of the thing.

Maybe TragicMonkey has some creative ideas for getting some yucks out of the situation.
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Old 3rd August 2022, 05:32 AM   #1263
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"Instructions for downloading the interim update:

1. Right-click on the previous file
2. Choose Copy
3. Right click on your desktop
4. Choose Paste

Done!"
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Old 3rd August 2022, 05:53 AM   #1264
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Originally Posted by malbui View Post
I know I could simply rename the file and update some key fields but it’s the principle of the thing.

Maybe TragicMonkey has some creative ideas for getting some yucks out of the situation.
I'm confused what the problem is. You can do a piece of work and make it appear to be six times as much work? I'd make six copies each time I did it, name them with the appropriate month, then set a reminder to myself to send that month's copy on the fifth of the month-- so it looks like it took five days to do. Send them late in the day, too. Work that is X amount of effort in Y amount of time...that you can pass off as 6X and 20Y? That's a golden assignment right there! Why on earth would you want to stop that?
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Old 3rd August 2022, 01:22 PM   #1265
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I'm confused what the problem is. You can do a piece of work and make it appear to be six times as much work? I'd make six copies each time I did it, name them with the appropriate month, then set a reminder to myself to send that month's copy on the fifth of the month-- so it looks like it took five days to do. Send them late in the day, too. Work that is X amount of effort in Y amount of time...that you can pass off as 6X and 20Y? That's a golden assignment right there! Why on earth would you want to stop that?
Oh, if I have to do it I’ll do it, and probably automate it. I was just wondering if you could suggest any deviously hilarious ways to extract maximum humour from the situation.
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Old 3rd August 2022, 01:59 PM   #1266
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I know.

I honestly don't know how to do it better. And I've been thinking about it. A lot.

The template I'm referring to is what we call the Phone Button Template. It's used to set Lines and Speed Dials on desk phones, primarily for Executive Assistants and other staff who have the expansion module on their phones. Each button on the module can be set to either a Line (someone else's phone number that rings on your phone) or Speed Dials (numbers that you can dial with one button). We have a set number of configurations that we can set these to - four Lines then twenty SDs, or five Lines and fifteen SDs, etcetera. This is the first sticking point. They always want to arrange their Lines and SDs in ways our system will not allow. There is a big label at the top that says "KEEP LINES AND SPEED DIALS TOGETHER - THEY CANNOT BE INTERSPERSED" but who reads instructions anyway?

The second sticking point is that our phone numbers are listed in the format (12) 3456 7890 like regular Australian land line numbers. But in our VoIP system they are listed with only a five-digit extension number which is the last four digits of the phone number plus a single digit at the beginning indicating the state. So of course people give us the full numbers, and we have to do a find & replace to convert the full number to the five-digit extension before we can start entering them.

The third thing is that we ask them to highlight changes on the spreadsheet. If they want to modify their existing configuration, highlight the entries that you'd like changed. Simple, but again, who reads instructions?

The fourth thing is that they keep their spreadsheets and just amend them when they need changes, which means that when we get them they have titles like "Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of John Smith Phone Button Template.xlsx" and it's an outdated version of the template that we updated three years ago.

What triggered my initial post is that we got a request to, among other things, change the last entry from a Speed Dial to a Line. But they had already specified that the Line be added higher up on the template. What they should have done is just delete that row from the spreadsheet. Instead, they left it, highlighted it, and added a comment saying "change from Speed Dial to Line". Unfortunately this involved changing their setup from 14 Lines to 15 Lines, which because of our nightmarish system meant I had to basically delete all their Lines, change their setup, then re-add the Lines. When I got to the last one I got an error saying that it had already been added. If they'd filled out the spreadsheet right, I could have just made the two changes they requested without having to change their setup at all. Hence, ten minutes of my valuable time wasted.
Sorry, but that is a system that is almost guaranteed to go wrong and cause complaints. I couldn't follow it and I'm in the tech field. So how a PA could handle it, I don't know.

Simplify, simplify, simplify!

1) You have 24(?) buttons on your phone. Each may be a direct line or a speed dial.
2) Starting at the top, specify the phone numbers for all the direct lines you require.
3) The remaining buttons below your direct lines may be speed dial numbers.
4) For all phone numbers, specify destination state and full public phone number including any STD code.
5) To make changes, submit a full, revised template.
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Last edited by Norman Alexander; 3rd August 2022 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 3rd August 2022, 07:07 PM   #1267
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Sorry, but that is a system that is almost guaranteed to go wrong and cause complaints. I couldn't follow it and I'm in the tech field. So how a PA could handle it, I don't know.
I know, right? It's quite ridiculous. And it does not lend itself to automation because CUCM is a CU Northern Territory.

But it's okay. Once I've worked out what they want and corrected their spreadsheet, actually completing the work is relaxingly repetitive.
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Old 4th August 2022, 12:56 AM   #1268
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Originally Posted by malbui View Post
Oh, if I have to do it I’ll do it, and probably automate it. I was just wondering if you could suggest any deviously hilarious ways to extract maximum humour from the situation.
Requests like that are beyond humour.
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Old 4th August 2022, 03:32 AM   #1269
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Requests like that are beyond humour.
Dunno, just add a cover page saying that the report is based on the $Month data and that all changes have been highlighted in luscious purple.

Emphasis the the $Month & $Month+6 datasets are the baselines and as such the changes will not be highlighted
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Old 4th August 2022, 07:11 AM   #1270
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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Dunno, just add a cover page saying that the report is based on the $Month data and that all changes have been highlighted in luscious purple.

Emphasis the the $Month & $Month+6 datasets are the baselines and as such the changes will not be highlighted
Use a Mayan calendar though.
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Old 4th August 2022, 11:45 PM   #1271
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On the subject of creative ways to mess simple things up...

We have a procedure where if we have an incident, and we have contacted the client for more information, we put the incident On Hold, which pauses the SLA clock. So far, so good.

We are required to follow up twice if the client doesn't contact us, as I have related before. In the meantime, we update the title of the incident with the date of the next followup YYYYMMDD and the number of times we have contacted them. It looks like this:

20220809 *1 contact made*

Since I work the late shift - because I like it and nobody else does - I see these a lot, and the number of ways in which the date gets messed up is quite astounding. And this is our own staff doing it! I just corrected one that listed the date as 202200809. Sometimes they get the date backwards, which messes up the sort order. Sometimes they put an aster at the beginning, which also messes up the sort order.

The most common way to mess up On Hold indents is, of course, to not add the date at all. Sometimes this means an incident will go days without being followed up. That's annoying.
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Old 5th August 2022, 05:55 AM   #1272
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
On the subject of creative ways to mess simple things up...

We have a procedure where if we have an incident, and we have contacted the client for more information, we put the incident On Hold, which pauses the SLA clock. So far, so good.

We are required to follow up twice if the client doesn't contact us, as I have related before. In the meantime, we update the title of the incident with the date of the next followup YYYYMMDD and the number of times we have contacted them. It looks like this:

20220809 *1 contact made*

Since I work the late shift - because I like it and nobody else does - I see these a lot, and the number of ways in which the date gets messed up is quite astounding. And this is our own staff doing it! I just corrected one that listed the date as 202200809. Sometimes they get the date backwards, which messes up the sort order. Sometimes they put an aster at the beginning, which also messes up the sort order.

The most common way to mess up On Hold indents is, of course, to not add the date at all. Sometimes this means an incident will go days without being followed up. That's annoying.
Seems to me like there should be separate fields for the date and number of contacts, right there and visible, so you don't have to play with text strings as the title.

You should put in a service request for that change!
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Old 5th August 2022, 08:30 AM   #1273
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Here's the newest demand, which I'm assuming one of my users got from a book of logic puzzles right next to the one about getting the wolf, goat, and bag of grain across the river.

There's a PC at the front desk.
User 1 has to be able to search job sites.
User 2 cannot be able to search job sites.
Users 1 and 2 have to share a login, the "workflow" (oh how I have come to despise that word) cannot support the time it would take for one of them to log out and the other log in, so a group login has to be used.
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Old 5th August 2022, 10:00 AM   #1274
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Here's the newest demand, which I'm assuming one of my users got from a book of logic puzzles right next to the one about getting the wolf, goat, and bag of grain across the river.
Why would anybody want to transport a loose wolf, anyway? Surely the wolf would be in a cage, or at least on a leash. And probably the goose also. And geese can swim and fly so you could always tow it by a leash when crossing. And surely there exist containers for grain that geese cannot penetrate in a short amount of time. That puzzle has too many holes in it.
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Old 5th August 2022, 12:12 PM   #1275
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Why would anybody want to transport a loose wolf, anyway? Surely the wolf would be in a cage, or at least on a leash. And probably the goose also. And geese can swim and fly so you could always tow it by a leash when crossing. And surely there exist containers for grain that geese cannot penetrate in a short amount of time. That puzzle has too many holes in it.
Then there's the one with the missionaries and the headhunters. I think I knew what headhunters were from Gilligan's Island, but not being much of a churchgoer as a kid, I think I thought missionaries went around trying to ferry people across rivers.
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Old 5th August 2022, 01:34 PM   #1276
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Here's the newest demand, which I'm assuming one of my users got from a book of logic puzzles right next to the one about getting the wolf, goat, and bag of grain across the river.

There's a PC at the front desk.
User 1 has to be able to search job sites.
User 2 cannot be able to search job sites.
Users 1 and 2 have to share a login, the "workflow" (oh how I have come to despise that word) cannot support the time it would take for one of them to log out and the other log in, so a group login has to be used.
Pretty simple.

1) Two computers
2) Separate logins
3) Why is a person in a "front desk" role searching job sites? They should be front-desking.
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Old 5th August 2022, 01:45 PM   #1277
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Pretty simple.

1) Two computers
2) Separate logins
3) Why is a person in a "front desk" role searching job sites? They should be front-desking.
//Long story short//

Person B, the one who isn't allowed on job searching sites, mans the desk most of the time doing normal front desk stuff, answering the phone, greeting people and directing to places, accepting packages, nothing out of the ordinary.

Person A mans the desk during a specific timeframe when they do like a "speed dating" version of job interviews, a bunch of people rapid fire, weeding out the people who don't deserve a full sit down interview. Person A has job searching sites up during this process to review these applicants.

No it doesn't make any sense to me either.
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Old 5th August 2022, 01:57 PM   #1278
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
//Long story short//

Person B, the one who isn't allowed on job searching sites, mans the desk most of the time doing normal front desk stuff, answering the phone, greeting people and directing to places, accepting packages, nothing out of the ordinary.

Person A mans the desk during a specific timeframe when they do like a "speed dating" version of job interviews, a bunch of people rapid fire, weeding out the people who don't deserve a full sit down interview. Person A has job searching sites up during this process to review these applicants.

No it doesn't make any sense to me either.
Cool. But what does Person A do if someone comes to the front desk in the midst of this effort? Or in the middle of some "speed date"? Or with something urgently front-desk-like? Like if the POTUS drops by. How long does it take Person B to eat lunch, have a cigarette, and go to the bathroom anyway?
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Old 7th August 2022, 04:09 AM   #1279
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Seems to me like there should be separate fields for the date and number of contacts, right there and visible, so you don't have to play with text strings as the title.

You should put in a service request for that change!
I always use DDMMMYYYY, i.e. 07AUG2022.
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Old 7th August 2022, 05:24 AM   #1280
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
I always use DDMMMYYYY, i.e. 07AUG2022.
Well, that wouldn’t sort in the order that arth wants.
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