As usual for a Tuesday, I was down at the Naenae Pool yesterday.
After my swim, I found the showers were cold, which was not really what I wanted. There was another guy there with the same problem.
So, I told the pool manager, who sorted it out in a jiffy. And then he patiently explained to us that if it should ever happen like that again, we just had to go to this certain washbasin, turn on the hot tap full bore for a few seconds, which should free up the flow to the showers.
Ok, so now that’s at least two people besides the manager who know about this little trick.
But it made me think of how often this kind of thing happens in software. It all works well, as long as you are aware of some of the ideosynchrasies of use.
I may have even been guilty of it myself at times. Of course, if you are making a custom database application for a specific organisation, you probably don’t get so formal as to have a “Known Issues” list. But I can certainly think of examples (not too many, but some) where I have asked the users to just remember to do things in a certain way, or in a certain order.
I guess, like the pool manager, it seems easier at the time to do the quick and easy work-around, rather than bite the bullet and fix the problem.
But for me, next time I respond to a client’s problem with an explanation of how they can do it different, I will be thinking of the cold showers.