Monday 4 March 2024

Fault Report

 Once, back in the old days I was adding a new feature to a ferry company's online booking system and I got the best fault report I've every received. I had added the feature to be able to take a bicycle on your crossing, and I'd done it exactly how they'd asked me to. However they had certain business rules at their end that I didn't know about. A bicycle is a type of vehicle and it makes its crossing on the car deck. When you book a vehicle their system might know exactly how much space it takes on the car deck, but if they've never heard of it before they assume that its 1.9m high and 5m long.

In reality bicycles are lashed to the handrail at the end of the car deck and take up approximately no space, however the booking system was assuming that they would take up 5m of space in an area that had a ceiling at least 1.9m high. You only had to book a few bicycles on a crossing and the car deck would be noticeably sparse, and vans would get turned away because the "wouldn't fit".

I was rung up by one of the people from the ferry company's computer centre. A woman with whom I had a friendly but professional relationship, and whom I had most certainly never heard swear.

"Richard" she said "bicycles are fucking massive this year".

Richard "lead passenger" B

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