Writer search - Arantor's... suggestion


  • SockDev

    So in reference to http://what.thedailywtf.com/t/the-daily-wtf-wants-writers-again/4028/1

    Pretty hard to find an angle on this one - the actual WTF itself is of course the idiot user - but there's only so much mileage in a pretty dull PEBKAC (much less than most of TDWTF's articles I can remember)

    I was aiming for jaded Apple store employee, and a healthy dash of Apple reality distortion field.

    Weighs in at 301 words, which given the limited material seems non-terrible especially given that my posting history shows I can clearly write so much more.


    Our Apple store is an interesting place. It's not all about selling the latest iFad 27 gizmo or the shiniest new iDrone 8 Plus gewgaw. You'd probably never believe how many people come in just to check their Facebook and forget to log out afterwards. And of course, going through and re-adjusting all the laptop screens to be at just the wrong angle takes a lot of effort, too.

    But there's also repairs, and while usually there's a lot of fairly dull and unexciting things, sometimes something a little fiery comes in, and just like your turkey probably was this past Thanksgiving, a little bit overdone.

    At least it wasn't as overdone as the one that came in to us this week. The customer had been out at some exorbitantly priced turkey feast, perhaps with apple baste, and his bratty little cat hadn't been invited. And while the owner's away, of course, the cat will play. Unfortunately it was playing with fire – or at least, playing with a lamp that set fire to the TV, promptly melting it all over his pride and joy: the Apple computer his company had lent him over the holiday season.

    Instead of a perhaps more traditional apple-basted turkey, it was a TV-basted Apple, and it looked terrible, smelt worse and probably tasted at least as bad as it smelt.

    The customer did have one saving grace, and gave many thanks for it! Due to Apple's highly innovative build techniques, it just needed a minor replacement of a new case and keyboard – as opposed to other machines that might have needed replacements of the entire bodywork and chassis! – and it was as good as new afterwards. Sadly we never did find out whether the customer had roasted feline as an appetizer come Christmas.


    Of course... it's not quite normal TDWTF style but for this, it's not necessarily entirely terrible. Been a while.



  • @mark_bowytz, I feel that this story would be better with the front page formatting. I know that you can have publicly-visible articles that aren't published to the front page. Can you please make that happen? Here's a cat: 😽


  • SockDev

    It's publicly visible πŸ˜‰


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    You get:
    + for writing this
    - for using a narrator that is yourself (usually front page articles credit some (imaginary??) person
    + for not completely taking away all reference to the original (from a readers perspective)
    - for not completely taking away all reference to the original (from the typical front page article perspective πŸ˜ƒ )
    - For keeping the advertisement character of the whole thing. Due to Apple's highly innovative build techniques
    - for not having Comments and / or other little gimmicks involved
    - for not really working out a WTF (though this one is particularily on the article itself and you DID mention it in the prelude)

    Then again, that is only my opinion.

    Filed Under: Obligatory: 10/10 would read again after posting a lot of "-"


  • SockDev

    That's the really neat thing about this... it's actually so much less of a WTF than the usual round of WTFery we get here. It's actually really hard to find a real WTF angle. There's the idiot owner leaving his cat unattended, sure, with a lamp that could ignite, near a TV set - but that's hardly the most idiotic thing in the world in the grand scheme of things, and the fact Apple fixed it with just a case/keyboard replacement is really a testament to build quality (even though there's the snarky comment about how, ultimately, pretty much any machine of the time would realistically be in a not-so-distant position)


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Arantor said:

    and the fact Apple fixed it with just a case/keyboard replacement is really a testament to build quality

    To me it sounded way more like a testament to marketing quality. You are looking at an apple-advertisement. If you were to bring such a story to the front page (let's just assume it) and you leave that sentence it, I'd be willing to bet that you'd be eaten alive by the comments ("We come here to read WTFs not Apple-ads", "I'd rather read Hanzo stories than this", "Frist" etc)


    @Arantor said:

    It's actually really hard to find a real WTF angle.

    That is true then again, I did mention shifting the blame towards the article at least partially:
    @Kuro said:
    - for not really working out a WTF (though this one is particularily on the article itself and you DID mention it in the prelude)

    Maybe it would have been better to just take one WTF and roll with it.

    Filed Under: Just my two cents | Disclaimer: I really don't dislike your writing. I am just .... pedantic.. in a way? | trying to improve your writing! That is what I was looking for!

    Addendum: Please note how quoting myself changed the bullet-point from a "-" into a ".". Clearly this is as designed and should never be fixed!


  • SockDev

    I did try to get snarky about the whole 'build quality' thing in the closing of the article knowing full well that their build quality is not really quite as special as they would like to make out. And the opening is very definitely Apple snark.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Oh, yeah, I totally forgot to give you a "++" for the intro!

    The snark on the closing is not nearly at your normal snark-levels, though. You should probably get that fixed!

    Filed Under: We should totally apply for the position as a team! ;P


  • SockDev

    @Kuro said:

    Oh, yeah, I totally forgot to give you a "++" for the intro!

    The snark on the closing is not nearly at your normal snark-levels, though. You should probably get that fixed!

    Filed Under: We should totally apply for the position as a team! ;P

    The lack of snark is a combination of inner sadness and a lack of confidence. It's been a long time - years, in fact - since I did creative writing. All the stuff I've done around here was done from first hand experience and that just requires technique to reinterpret, as opposed to creating something from basically nothing, and that's something I haven't done since like 2009... and before that... I don't even remember when I wrote anything creatively until I start going back to the realms of 2002-4 when I tried to write novels.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    hey, I am not trying to pull you down. I am just offering free feedback. You really don't have to defend yourself.

    If this one didn't have enough snark, just make the next one a tiny bit snarkier and there you go. This is not rocket-science (so Kerbal Space Program won't help you), it's more of a practice thing.

    Filed Under: I haven't really written anything like that since I was in school back then. Plus I would have a language barrier. So your text is probably just fine | Did you actually get feedback from @mark_bowytz for the story?


  • SockDev

    This isn't defence, this is an explanation. πŸ™‚ It's all good.

    I'm just so not used to writing and not used to sharing and for me... sharing what's behind it is part of sharing the thing itself for me.

    Filed Under: Actually, I suck at KSP



  • @Kuro said:

    You get:+ for writing this- for using a narrator that is yourself (usually front page articles credit some (imaginary??) person+ for not completely taking away all reference to the original (from a readers perspective)- for not completely taking away all reference to the original (from the typical front page article perspective )- For keeping the advertisement character of the whole thing. Due to Apple's highly innovative build techniques- for not having Comments and / or other little gimmicks involved- for not really working out a WTF (though this one is particularily on the article itself and you DID mention it in the prelude)

    Do you get a plus or a minus for cornification?


  • β™Ώ

    Oh yeah - on the old site for sure. I'd "publish" an article back to 10/17/2000.

    Can that kitteh fix HTTP 500 errors? πŸ˜‰


  • SockDev

    No, but I have a knack for fixing 500s. Then again I do PHP so, you know... I'm naturally TRWTF before we start πŸ˜›


  • β™Ώ

    I happen to enjoy coding in PHP!

    If you're interested in branching out though:

    Also, I'd like to see you take another stab at your article. I'm working on constructive feedback for every submission, so I'll send you a note with some details and direction (hey, it's my job as an editor to make my writers stuff look as good as possible!).

    Some thoughts in general on the WTF-ness of this story/submission.

    1. This is the guy's work computer. What's the impact of it being ruined? Bad boss angle? Business continuity fail? Can this dude afford to replace the computer / save his job?
      1a. Why is he trying to work at home over Thanksgiving? What's so important?
    2. He's arriving home only to find his house in ruins - on Thanksgiving!
    3. IMHO, the computer is fixed on Black Friday (busiest shopping day of the year!).
    4. He gets back to work on Monday with everything back to normal. Cat goes to kennel next year.

    This is exactly what happens when we turn a submission into a story. The fluff isn't really important to the CORE WTF - guy's work computer was ruined by his cat and somehow he was able to get it all together. Ignore that it's Apple. Make it an IBM XT. Put him in Hawaii. Alaska. Change it to Europe and make it happen over one of their 15 million bank holidays. Make it factual based on what you have but still make it entertaining.


  • SockDev

    Thanks for the feedback, I will give it another shot over the weekend πŸ˜„


  • β™Ώ

    EXCELLENT. Please do! If you have any questions, I'll watch here or you can email me directly (fname.lname@gmail).

    PROTIP: without a doubt, stories with character dialogue do better (pageviews, comments).


  • SockDev

    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll definitely mull it over for a little before tackling it, just because it wasn't an approach I had quite thought about - despite having read TDWTF for years now.


  • Fake News

    @mark_bowytz said:

    Some thoughts in general on the WTF-ness of this story/submission. 1. This is the guy's work computer. What's the impact of it being ruined? Bad boss angle? Business continuity fail? Can this dude afford to replace the computer / save his job? 1a. Why is he trying to work at home over Thanksgiving? What's so important?2. He's arriving home only to find his house in ruins - on Thanksgiving!3. IMHO, the computer is fixed on Black Friday (busiest shopping day of the year!).4. He gets back to work on Monday with everything back to normal. Cat goes to kennel next year.

    This is exactly what happens when we turn a submission into a story. The fluff isn't really important to the CORE WTF - guy's work computer was ruined by his cat and somehow he was able to get it all together. Ignore that it's Apple. Make it an IBM XT. Put him in Hawaii. Alaska. Change it to Europe and make it happen over one of their 15 million bank holidays. Make it factual based on what you have but still make it entertaining.


    You know what, this explains so much…


  • SockDev

    OK, so take two. @mark_bowytz, this one's just for you. I wasn't going to let the 'apple-basting' gag go, though πŸ˜† I make it 501 words.


    A few years ago, Peter was working for small-but-established UK-based game development house as a senior developer. In fact, they'd just released the latest instalment of their flagship desktop strategy game series – and were hungry for fresh ideas.

    Unsurprisingly, Dick the CEO, already knew what he wanted to do: mobile games. In-app purchasing, cow clicking, you name it – pretty much the antithesis of everything the company had built its reputation on.

    And so, Dick turned to Peter and told him to make it happen – and to make it happen on New Year's Day or else. Even purchasing of a shiny new MacBook specifically for this purpose was no object. In essence, the future of the company depended on this project's success.

    β€œSo,” Peter thought. β€œThere's still several weeks until New Year and even the app store shouldn't be a problem, right?”

    As the weeks ticked by, Peter was feeling overwhelmed by the impending deadline. November came and went – and December came. Even pulling unpaid overtime throughout mid-December seemed little comfort. In the end, he started taking the laptop home and working evenings and weekends too.

    Eventually it's Christmas week. A week until Launch Day and still not quite ready. Christmas Eve with his folks – turkey, stuffing, all the trimmings and an apple-basting that only his mother seemed to know how to make.

    A pleasant enough evening... until he got home to find a fire crew there. Seems his cat had knocked over a lamp, which caught fire. The fire crew got there pretty quickly and salvaged most things, but not Peter's desk. More importantly... not the desk that had an apple-basting of its own.

    β€œWhat am I going to do?” said Peter, head buried in his hands; replacing a couple of thousand pounds worth of laptop – for which he was not insured – was a hard enough blow, but having to face Dick in a few days' time and tell him that the company was going to fail, and that it was all his fault... he'd never work in game dev again.

    Clutching the mangled and melted laptop to his chest, he spent the night on his parents' sofa. What a Christmas present. There is a peculiar gait that a man has when he feels his world is falling apart... a slow weary and yet determined trudge. Walking through the streets of his home town, looking for somewhere, anywhere, open... any way out for this... he found somewhere. A backstreet laptop repair shop... open on Christmas Day. And... in the manner only found in Christmas miracles, with enough parts to scavenge the thing together.

    Peter could barely mumble the words together in gratitude for what had happened, and handed over many crisp Β£20 notes, and walked out with his head held high. Sense of purpose renewed, he was able to sit on his folks' sofa, finish the app, save his job, save the company. But perhaps, next time not so much apple-basting for the turkey.


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