Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Keyboard Error

Mr. Gates strikes again.

I was just working on setting up a bunch of equipment in my studio since everything was dismantled and stored off-site for the summer. One of my first goals was to put one of the computer systems back together, so I could start working on a video editing project.

I powered the system on, forgetting that I hadn't attached a keyboard yet. Much to my amusement, the following error message came up:

"No keyboard detected. Press F1 to continue."

It takes real brilliance to come up with something like that. The only thing I've ever seen that tops that was on my tax form several years ago, where there was a message that said something resembling, "If you are blind or visually disabled, please call the following number for assistance." It's too bad that the number wasn't in braille.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Stupid Clerks, part one

The other day, while I was still on the west coast (well, in Alberta) I had to run to town to pick up some stuff for my cooks. One of the things they asked for was 7 kilograms of thinly sliced [sandwich] ham.

I went to the deli counter at the IGA, and said that I wanted 7 kilograms of sliced ham. The girl looked confused, so I showed her the list and repeated my order. She looked at it and said, “You mean 700.”

I was confused, and said, “No, just 7.” After she insisted a couple times that I meant 700, I said, “I think you’re getting confused by my cook’s handwriting. That reads SEVEN KAY GEE not SEVEN ZERO ZERO.” She didn’t understand.

Our argument went on. Even the lady in line behind me was getting exasperated, and she couldn’t believe the clerk either, so she yelled over my shoulder, “He wants fifteen pounds.” Another clerk behind the counter came to the defense of the first one: “We don’t cut it in pounds anymore.”

I tried a new approach. I said, “I know this sounds like a lot, but I’m trying to buy enough meat here to feed eighty people with lunch sandwiches for three or four days.” She replied, “I know, and 7 is not nearly enough. You need 700.” I suddenly thought I understood what the problem was: she was confusing grams and kilograms. I tried a new approach, “I think you’re talking about grams. I want seven kilograms, which is a lot of meat, not seven grams, which is a couple slices.” She said, “No, you don’t understand how we weigh things here.”

Obviously I didn’t.

At this point I was getting short on diplomacy as I was already late for meeting someone, so I said, “Listen, just start slicing meat. I’m going to go pick up some paper towels. When I get back here, I’ll tell you when to stop.” She didn’t look impressed, but when I saw her reach for the ham, I figured that I was safe to pick up the paper towels.

When I got back, she was all smiles. She had the right amount of meat all packaged on the counter. I started to put the package into the cart when she apologized, “Sorry, I didn’t understand what you meant. I think this is what you wanted. This is actually seven THOUSAND kilograms.”


It's a good thing that I brought the big truck.