looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

A pretty wretched day all round

The other members of our team were deploying our application into the production system today (Yes - on a Sunday) and several nasty bugs decided to expose themselves. It's frustrating because it was my fault, mostly. More testing would have uncovered these at an earlier stage, but with these guys everything is always so last-minute, interspersed with periods of inactivity. So, it didn't get the testing it should have. And there are other reasons for unnecessarily complicated and interrelated legacy code (that we didn't write) which aren't important except that they make our job harder than it needs to be.

Anyway, we were in the middle of a telephone conversation with the rest of the team when Toni-from-across-the-road knocked on the door, clutching her cell phone, babbling incoherently, obviously in need of assistance. She couldn't understand where her house mate, Linda, was, yet I had heard from an earlier conversation Lisa had with her that Linda was in Philadelphia for a week and had in fact been away for several days already.

I ducked back into the house and told Lisa it was an emergency and that I had to go across the road and help Toni.

Toni was wandering in circles in her living room, calling people on her cellphone, repeating the same things over and over:

"I must have fallen off the ladder."
"Are my pupils dilated?"
"Where's Linda?"

If ever I needed to see a real example of someone having been "knocked into the middle of next week", well, now I had one.

She was also bleeding all over the floor from a gash in her foot. I got her to lie on the floor with her leg on a chair and dumped some ice in a dish-towel and put it under the back of her head where an egg-size lump was forming.

At that point, one of the people she had been trying to get hold of on the phone turned up. I'd never met him before, but he seemed pretty level-headed and together we got Toni's insurance card out, called her doctor, got advice about where to take her, and he bundled her into his pickup and drove off, with me assuring Toni that'd I'd look after the cats if she didn't get back until late.

I found out later that the guy was Linda's brother-in-law, who lives nearby.

I went back to work on fixing the nasty bugs in our program.


Toni returned to the house late in the afternoon, dosed up on some fairly strong painkillers - vicodin I think - and is resting up. We've promised not to tell Linda anything if she calls, so that she can continue to enjoy her trip away without worrying.