Not Always Right



  • I found this producitivy sink really cool site with stories of people dealing with stupid customers. While it's not IT oriented, I think we can relate to a lot of thsoe situations, specially those who work or have worked with tech support.

    Here and there, there are some funny tech support quotes too, such as when a user doesn't know left from right, or a laptop from desktop, [edit] or when they think a modem is something you download from the Internet.

    Also, someone tries to get a free modem and complains when they're tricked into admitting they're being dishonest.

    I think I'm going to post about this girl who was worried about Intel's Atom processors because she thought they were nuclear powered and thus radioactive.



  • [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]a user doesn't know left from right[/quote]No, not that link, your other link...



  •  Ah, notalwaysright.com.... I read that during my lunch break. Finished the whole thing. They need to post stories faster



  •  Well if we're going to spam er.. promote other websites, then let me just point to Customerssuck.com , but while the site itself is fairly ha-ha with a couple of stories, the real interesting content is all on the forums. Here's the direct link to the "Unsupportable" board which focuses on IT. Plenty of "user was holding the power cord wondering what it was" stories, but also some interesting, original and surprising stuff.

    Good for wasting lunch breaks (or "waiting for compile" downtime) in the future. Just make sure clients billed at high rates don't take offense at seing "Customers suck" in their domain access list :P.



  • Since we're listing the time-waster sites, let me point you to Clients from Hell and Clientcopia. While these two have mostly stories from designers, there's a fair share of IT stuff as well. And let's not forget the Shark tank.



  • @ender said:

    Shark tank.
     

    I hate it when designers don't seem to notice that Helvetica looks like shit on Windows because it's such s poorly hinted font.



  • @dhromed said:

    @ender said:

    Shark tank.
     

    I hate it when designers don't seem to notice that Helvetica looks like shit on Windows because it's such s poorly hinted font.

     

    And that is your only gripe with this site, designwise?



  • @b-redeker said:

    And that is your only gripe with this site, designwise?
     

    The rest is so bland that it doesn't even register.



  • @dhromed said:

    @ender said:

    Shark tank.
     

    I hate it when designers don't seem to notice that Helvetica looks like shit on Windows because it's such s poorly hinted font.

    Yeah, the 'a' comes out looking like 's'!



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Yeah, the 'a' comes out looking like 's'!
     

    I turn on a Stylish style that forces Segoe UI and everything's all sweet again.



  • [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]

    ... such as when a user doesn't know left from right...

    [/quote]

    One of my friends has the problem and it's irritating as hell, but she makes up for it by being hot as hell, so meh.



  •  I liked this one - the real WTF being, of course, that the waitress doesn't know how to pronounce her own dish, and the customer's pronunciation was correct.



  • @Cat said:

     I liked this one - the real WTF being, of course, that the waitress doesn't know how to pronounce her own dish, and the customer's pronunciation was correct.

    Since it can be pronounced either way both the customer and waitress are TRWTF: /bruːˈskɛtə/ - /bruːˈʃɛtə/



  • @The_Assimilator said:

    [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]

    ... such as when a user doesn't know left from right...

    One of my friends has the problem and it's irritating as hell, but she makes up for it by being hot as hell, so meh.

    [/quote] 

    Is she just as good with her left hand as with her right?

    Supposedly people who are truly ambidextrous often have trouble telling left from right.



  • I have three links in my favourites that I open every morning. Thedailywtf, Notalwaysright, and TheAwesomer. Reading them is a great start to my day.



  • @Someone You Know said:

    Supposedly people who are truly ambidextrous often have trouble telling left from right.
    Whoa, is that true?  I am both ambidextrous and pretty retarded when it comes to distinguishing between left and right.  I swear everything becomes symmetric in my memory. Most of the time I know with which hand to pick up a pencil, but sometimes I just start writing and wonder, "geez, why is my handwriting so bad?  Oh wait, wrong hand."  Following directions from a GPS leads to much more stressful situations.

    So this is good, I can blame it on my ambidexterity rather than tragic difficulties during mental development.



  • @Xyro said:

    @Someone You Know said:

    Supposedly people who are truly ambidextrous often have trouble telling left from right.
    Whoa, is that true?  I am both ambidextrous and pretty retarded when it comes to distinguishing between left and right.  I swear everything becomes symmetric in my memory. Most of the time I know with which hand to pick up a pencil, but sometimes I just start writing and wonder, "geez, why is my handwriting so bad?  Oh wait, wrong hand."  Following directions from a GPS leads to much more stressful situations.

    So this is good, I can blame it on my ambidexterity rather than tragic difficulties during mental development.

    No, I have friends who are right-handed and are equally, er... asymetry challenged.



  • @Xyro said:

    @Someone You Know said:

    Supposedly people who are truly ambidextrous often have trouble telling left from right.
    Whoa, is that true?  I am both ambidextrous and pretty retarded when it comes to distinguishing between left and right.  I swear everything becomes symmetric in my memory. Most of the time I know with which hand to pick up a pencil, but sometimes I just start writing and wonder, "geez, why is my handwriting so bad?  Oh wait, wrong hand."  Following directions from a GPS leads to much more stressful situations.

    So this is good, I can blame it on my ambidexterity rather than tragic difficulties during mental development.

     

    I've heard it's true, but I can't remember where I heard it. It's not universal, and there are plenty of left-handed or right-handed people who have trouble telling left from right. But from what I've heard, ambidextrous people are more likely to have difficulty with it than people with a strong dominance in one hand or the other. 

    Left and right are pretty abstract concepts that are difficult to define. It would make sense that when learning them, a child would form some mental association between his dominant hand and the name for that side — perhaps just on a subconscious level. Truly ambidextrous people can't really do that. But take all this with a grain of salt, because I heard it somewhere years ago and don't have any real data to back it up at the moment.



  • [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]No, I have friends who are right-handed and are equally, er... asymetry challenged.[/quote]I'm right-handed, and unless I give it a lot of thought, I keep mixing up left and right.



  •  Wow, I'm glad I'm not alone.  No one else I know ever has any trouble between left and right so it's always been kind of, well, embarrassing.



  • @Xyro said:

     Wow, I'm glad I'm not alone.  No one else I know ever has any trouble between left and right so it's always been kind of, well, embarrassing.

    It took me until, no kidding, age 20-21 before I could reliably point to north after getting out of a car or bus.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Xyro said:

     Wow, I'm glad I'm not alone.  No one else I know ever has any trouble between left and right so it's always been kind of, well, embarrassing.

    It took me until, no kidding, age 20-21 before I could reliably point to north after getting out of a car or bus.

    That's different from left and right difficulties. I know people who have an absolute sense of direction but still have problems with left and right.



  • [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]@blakeyrat said:

    @Xyro said:

     Wow, I'm glad I'm not alone.  No one else I know ever has any trouble between left and right so it's always been kind of, well, embarrassing.

    It took me until, no kidding, age 20-21 before I could reliably point to north after getting out of a car or bus.

    That's different from left and right difficulties. I know people who have an absolute sense of direction but still have problems with left and right.[/quote] 

    Yeah. Left/right is a much more abstract and subjective concept than north/south. The concept of "north" can be defined using the Earth and magnetic fields and such, but there really isn't a way to define left and right without pointing at some object and saying: "This is the left side, and this is the right side. Oh, and if you go around to the other side of the object, the part of it I just called the left side is now the right side. Your right, not my right. Yeah."



  • I wasn't trying to one-up the left/right guys, I was just sharing my own personal shame that's somewhat relevant.

    @Someone You Know said:

    Yeah. Left/right is a much more abstract and subjective concept than north/south. The concept of "north" can be defined using the Earth and magnetic fields and such

    Obviously I knew the concept of North before I was 21 years old. What I couldn't do is get out of a car and definitely point into a direction and say "that way's north." At least, not without the aid of magnetic fields (compasses.)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I wasn't trying to one-up the left/right guys, I was just sharing my own personal shame that's somewhat relevant.

    @Someone You Know said:

    Yeah. Left/right is a much more abstract and subjective concept than north/south. The concept of "north" can be defined using the Earth and magnetic fields and such

    Obviously I knew the concept of North before I was 21 years old. What I couldn't do is get out of a car and definitely point into a direction and say "that way's north." At least, not without the aid of magnetic fields (compasses.)

    Oh, ok then. I can always tell north from south and east from west, and always find my way home, but no amount of direction short of a map and GPS system will make me go from one address to another. And I've been living in this city for 26 years now.



  • [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]I know people who have an absolute sense of direction but still have problems with left and right.[/quote] 

    The weirdest is a friend of mine who drew me a map to her house, but drew everything in mirror image. She said that had happened to her before.



  • @b_redeker said:

    drew everything in mirror image
     

    I tend to remember scenes in mirror. I watch a movie for the second time after years, and when it comes to a familiar scene, I'm often, Oh, it's the other way around.

    Then more time passes, and now I really have no idea what the scenes' orientations were. Could be either.

     

    Edit.

    Let me gess, you were on a date, and she didn't like you that much.



  • [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]no amount of direction short of a map and GPS system will make me go from one address to another.[/quote] 

    I look it up in Google maps/earth. No amount of drawn map can compensate for the fact that it doesn't actually look like that. Hell, a map is often so distorted that certain road connections may or may not exist at all.



  • @dhromed said:

    No amount of drawn map can compensate for the fact that it doesn't actually look like that. Hell, a map is often so distorted that certain road connections may or may not exist at all.

     

    In the United States, for a number of years this sort of disconnect between maps and reality was referred to as "Boston".




  •  I have a terrible time with left and right too, actually, and my dad's the same way.  And it's definitely not something that's tied to general location memory -- my friend whose spatial memory borders on frighteningly accurate (I've seen him give directions, from memory, of a place he only visited once several years earlier) has problems with left/right too.



  • I think most people know the difference between left and right. What they may have trouble with is remember which direction is called "left" and which one is called "right." If people who have difficulty with this are idiots, then Richard Feynman was an idiot. He used to look at his hands in order to remember which was which -- his left hand had a mole on it, and that's how he remembered which one was left.

    I have no problem with left and right, but I always have to think a bit when trying to remember east and west. North and south, no problem. Just east and west. To remember, I usually visualize a map of North America, then I imagine the "East coast" and since I know where the East coast is on the map, that's how I get a handle on it.

    It's not like I stop for ten seconds to think about it, it probably takes a quarter of a second at most, but I still have to do it. With north and south I don't have to think at all, I just "know" them.

    It's pretty common and in no way indicates intelligence or lack thereof.



  • Dude, left is pastel tones of pink and sand, while right is a dark red and night blue.

    Psh. Everybody knows this.



  • @dhromed said:

    Dude, left is pastel tones of pink and sand, while right is a dark red and night blue.

    Psh. Everybody knows this.

    WTF ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?

    Left is sky blue and right is brown and brick red.  Stop trying to confuse me, you jerk.



  • @Xyro said:

    Left is sky blue and right is brown and brick red.  Stop trying to confuse me, you jerk.
     

    Monday is midnight blue, Tuesday is a light olive, Wednesday is a mute orange, Thursday is a strong teal, Friday is yolk or butter depending on my mood and the weather, Saturday is charcoal and Sunday is just plain black.

     

    I don't think this is real synaesthesia, though. Just learnt associations. For example, when I was little, I used to have sports training on Wednesday afternoon, and our team had orange shirts. Which were in varying states of newness, hence muted.



  • That's pretty interesting.  Weekdays never had color to me, but numbers do with I am stressed or sleep deprived.  I didn't consciously realize this until college, it never occurred to me before then that the sensation is unusual.   I first noticed it when I was doing some simple matrix math and associated this matrix with strawberries and cream ice cream:
    [ 2 0 |
    | 0 2 ]
    because, obviously, with was like little red chunks embedded in white cream.  It was at that point I decided to get more sleep.  The coloring of the digits/numbers tends to be very consistent, except for multiples of 7.  Prime numbers tend to be very dark.  Multiples of 2 are warm colored.  4 is a cheerful yellow-orange, perhaps the most cheerful color of all the numbers.  Multiples of 3 are nearly always a shade of green.  (Although the colors of digits of multiples of 9 sometimes show through the green.)  22 is "more red" than 2, since it has two 2s.  10, despite being even, is black and white, due to its digits. This holds for all multiples of 10.  16, on the other hand, is pink.  I do not know why.

    I've been programming since a young age, and wondered if I had associated the numbers with colors due to ANSI color codes or something similar.  Interestingly, the ANSI color codes do run the order of black, red, green, and yellow, which correspond to 1, 2, 3, and 4 (sort of) to me.  Who knows, who knows.



  • I realised most other people don't think that way while I was learning to write. I accidentally wrote '3' instead of 'b' one day, and when asked why I replied "they're both green".

    After that I kept things like that to myself.

     



  • @dabean said:

    I accidentally wrote '3' instead of 'b' one day, and when asked why I replied "they're both green".

    After that I kept things like that to myself.

    Synesthesia.


  • @dhromed said:

    For example, when I was little, I used to have sports training on Wednesday afternoon, and our team had orange shirts.
     

    I hope your team was called the Little Stadtholders or something.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Obviously I knew the concept of North before I was 21 years old. What I couldn't do is get out of a car and definitely point into a direction and say "that way's north."

    So, uh, now you can? Did you grow a compass in your head, or something?



  • @Spectre said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    Obviously I knew the concept of North before I was 21 years old. What I couldn't do is get out of a car and definitely point into a direction and say "that way's north."

    So, uh, now you can? Did you grow a compass in your head, or something?

    I dunno how I'm doing it, but I've gotten pretty good. Here in Washington (western Washington, at least), you just keep track of which side of you the Puget Sound/ocean's on, and once you know that you can easily figure out the rest of the directions. If I traveled to the east coast, I'd probably think north was south all the time because the ocean would be on the other side... heh.

    I guess the real question is, "how am I keeping track of which side the water's on if I arrive somewhere it's not visible?" I don't know for sure. Maybe I'm just subconsciously keeping track as the vehicle turns? I asked my brother how he did it (he had this skill years and years before I did), and he didn't know either.

    I also always just kind of assumed most people could find north... maybe I'm wrong on that count.



  • That reminds me of a rather interesting anecdote about speakers of the Bali language, which suppresses the concept of right and right and a few other relative directionals in favor for absolute coordinates.

    Description here: [url=http://books.google.com/books?id=Z_7k7Xj28ncC&pg=PA162&lpg=PA162&dq=Balinese+language+left+right&source=bl&ots=-0IB1fs-Vv&sig=iFxd0MHCrfjL4XGixEwgrpaUMB4&hl=en&ei=I3lZTL2FH5b8sQaE2Lz8Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Balinese%20language%20left%20right&f=false](Google book scan)[/url]

    Recently I read a short article about how folks who learn Balinese as a second language gain a much stronger sense of absolute direction.  (The point of the article was about how language shapes thought, which has always seemed obvious to me.  I found the idea of suppressed relative directions far more interesting.)  Unfortunately, I can't seem to find the article online...

    Edit:  Here's an article that seems to be the basis of what I read, although it doesn't include the mention of Pormpuraaw as a second language: [url]http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB10001424052748703467304575383131592767868.html[/url]



  • @Xyro said:

    That reminds me of a rather interesting anecdote about speakers of the Bali language, which suppresses the concept of right and right and a few other relative directionals in favor for absolute coordinates.

    Description here: (Google book scan)

    Recently I read a short article about how folks who learn Balinese as a second language gain a much stronger sense of absolute direction.  (The point of the article was about how language shapes thought, which has always seemed obvious to me.  I found the idea of suppressed relative directions far more interesting.)  Unfortunately, I can't seem to find the article online...

    Interestingly, that's also how people give directions in Discworld. They live in a flat, circular world, and the directions are Turnwise, Widdershins, Hubwards and Rimwards. The way you'd map it is about the same way the balinese map their island. I am a big fan of Discworld and studied a couple RPG's made from it, and using these kinds of directions for maps always seemed intuitive and easier than real life maps for me and my friends.



  • @Xyro said:

    (The point of the article was about how language shapes thought, which has always seemed obvious to me.  I found the idea of suppressed relative directions far more interesting.)

    One of the most notable subplots of 1984 was the government's attempt to simplify language to make it literally impossible to come up with the idea of rebelling against the government. (At least, for those who learned it at birth.)

    Of course that probably wouldn't have worked, because most* human languages are infinitely expressive, so the language can cope with any thought, no matter how abstract. (It might end up being extremely wordy, but it's possible-- for example, you could describe the intimate details of a PowerPC 604 processor in sanskrit, it would just take thousands of pages.)

    *) The reason I say most and not all is because of these guys-- it's possible (not likely) that their language only allows limited abstraction when it comes to counting items. If Everett is right, though, that would be the only known language that isn't infinitely expressive. But I think he's missing something.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    If I traveled to the east coast, I'd probably think north was south all the time because the ocean would be on the other side... heh.
     

    Exactly what happened to me when, after growing up in New England, I visited the west coast for the first time. I kept getting terribly turned around, and it was several days before I figured out that it was because I was subconsciously assuming that the ocean was to the east.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Maybe I'm just subconsciously keeping track as the vehicle turns

    I also always just kind of assumed most people could find north... maybe I'm wrong on that count.

     

    Well, my vehicle-turn-compensator is almost entirely defective, so don't count on a bendy trip to yield a usable orientation. I require advance knowledge of the bird's eye of view (either through experience or the internets), or need to resort to tricks such as the moss on a tree or the sun's position.

    Landmarks help immensely.



  • @Someone You Know said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    If I traveled to the east coast, I'd probably think north was south all the time because the ocean would be on the other side... heh.
     

    Exactly what happened to me when, after growing up in New England, I visited the west coast for the first time. I kept getting terribly turned around, and it was several days before I figured out that it was because I was subconsciously assuming that the ocean was to the east.

    Which remindedme of something else: in Brazil people almost never use north, south, east and west when giving directions, and such directions will invariably leave people confused around here. But we do have words and expressions for "towards the countryside" and "towards the coast", which used with left and right become directions like those of Discworld or Bali.



  • @Someone You Know said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    If I traveled to the east coast, I'd probably think north was south all the time because the ocean would be on the other side... heh.
     

    Exactly what happened to me when, after growing up in New England, I visited the west coast for the first time. I kept getting terribly turned around, and it was several days before I figured out that it was because I was subconsciously assuming that the ocean was to the east.

    Its just as bad in going from Northern to Southern hemispheres and vice versa as the sun switches from being in the south to the north.



  • [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]But we do have words and expressions for "towards the countryside" and "towards the coast"[/quote]So how does that work in somewhere like the Pantanal where every direction is pretty well towards the coast?



  • @OzPeter said:

    [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]But we do have words and expressions for "towards the countryside" and "towards the coast"
    So how does that work in somewhere like the Pantanal where every direction is pretty well towards the coast?[/quote]

    Did you know that alligators and piranhas don't get along well and don't inhabit the same places? I figure they must use terms like gatorwards and piranhawards.



  • @dhromed said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Maybe I'm just subconsciously keeping track as the vehicle turns

    I also always just kind of assumed most people could find north... maybe I'm wrong on that count.

     

    Well, my vehicle-turn-compensator is almost entirely defective, so don't count on a bendy trip to yield a usable orientation. I require advance knowledge of the bird's eye of view (either through experience or the internets), or need to resort to tricks such as the moss on a tree or the sun's position.

    Landmarks help immensely.

    I had a GPS that would continually ask me to "Turn Left Now" when close to an address that it couldn't locate, it woudl navigate me as close as it could and then go nuts.


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