Discussions with norabombay
about various items including Original Male Dog? Always in order. Discussions with sithjawa
about the most random stuff? Also always in order.
Came in to an amazing slice of blackly hilarious helpdesk software trivia that made my Overlady start swearing (louder) and made our manager laugh, say something bleak, and then shake her fists.
Received an invitation to sit down in my place amongst the yelliest of the people giving helpdesk software feedback, tomorrow. They will demonstrate to us some things which they think will fix some of the worst of the issues. I will, of course, be taking notes.
There was a pleasant interlude involving a bunch of 45+-year-old dudes talking about the future of mobile security, to a crowd who appreciates the ability to break shit. After both Purple and Mr. Zune said that they couldn't go but were interested in hearing about it, I took notes. My contribution to the evening involved the question: So when your mobile phone, which is basically the key to your entire life at this point in the future, gets pickpocketed off you on BART -- and your data is fine, it's all locked up -- how screwed are you, exactly? I asked this because there had been a lot of focus on how to secure various things and when to distrust more than you already distrusted, and yes those things are important, but a lot of people overlook the fact that any small, portable, and valuable item can and will disappear in the presence of a trained pickpocket.
I came back to find that:
a) the clueless wonder who seems to be the forward-facing face of the Let's Fix This Helpdesk Product had managed to do it again
b) crisis involving my Overlady's travel.
Both of those were straightened out. The hold music for the travel place was not bad, my cube was in need of some straightening, I got my notebook set up for tomorrow's meeting, and (once I got through to a real human) the source of the problem was one of those minor typos which can result in general catastrophic but ultimately temporary failure. I had been worried that it was the sort of thing which would ultimately require my Overlady's personal intervention, but it was all good.
The helpdesk, on the other hand!
The ticket I had filed was because of an error in their notification emails. This is one of the ones where my age and experience are a distinct advantage. I remember reading multipart emails in a text-only email reader. I was on mailing lists in those days. I am familiar with the way these things look, and the way they are supposed to look. So when the Sortable Chart of Grouse was being compiled, I chose one of the items I thought more low-hanging to make sure was formally filed.
The basic concept is this:
In the context of emails from the helpdesk software, links are not intended to be optional extras. Links are intended to be, among other things, tools for resetting one's password, tools for re-opening tickets which have been closed before their time, and tools for reading and interacting with the entire ticket and all its gods-given comments. While you probably could read the contents of the email, and then go to the website and hunt down the ticket based on the information in the email, that is not actually the recommended workflow. The links are intended to be integral.
Once you agree that the link is integral to the experience of this notification, the second part begins.
Some people, whether by virtue of them being a technological monk having taken a vow of poverty, or on a mobile device, or some other reason, have mail readers which only give them the text/plain part of a multipart message. ( further explication, and ranting, ensues. )
So after that, I washed my coffee mug, Purple wrapped up what he was working on, and we headed out to the parking lot. As we chatted about this and that (including security, and how sometimes people who are not entirely clueless about security will go for a less-secure choice to make sure that they're not permanently locked out of their shit, when the consequences of a bad guy getting into their shit are less terrible than the consequences of them getting locked out of their shit) and watched the night. Purple remarked that the security cart was moving sort of like a wooden duck in a shooting gallery. I wasn't sure if this security guy was That Security Guy. I mentioned that if he was, I kind of hoped he was getting the wrong idea, even blah blah blah. Purple pointed out, quite astutely, that people are kind of bad at the "maybe they like me?!?!?" perception check. He had a story (an ex was into him when he wasn't sure she was, and it was good). I had a story: Fencing-Dave. (And my scary, scary father.)
I will be back at bad hours of the morning. Because tomorrow's meeting is unmissable.