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Backstabbers

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28 pages27 minutes

Summary

I then did a pre-test of the good customer acceptance test program, for my upper management, and they were pleased with the apparently error free test. I told them, “What you see is the efforts of five hard working programmers. None of us could have done it alone, each and every one of us contributed. Also, the hardware support guys and the documentation people contributed necessary efforts. It was a team effort, with a successful completion that will reflect well on the company.”
The upper management people seemed pleased that I recognized that the product was a team effort, although they said nothing to me.
I then set up a full customer acceptance test, with customer representatives to be in attendance.
The big day arrives and we get everyone in the computer lab for the big test, I load the corrected load tape into the computer and start to run the customer acceptance test. Things go reasonably well, although there are the government observers who, as usual, profess to see problems that no one else sees.
I point out that the entire test is being video taped and that we can replay any critical scenes. (That shuts up the worst of the complainers.)
I run the full customer acceptance test and things go reasonably well. There are no obvious errors and we should get the customer's people to sign off on successful completion of their acceptance test.
Then Alvin prances in and announces, “I want to show you an error in the program.” He then grins at me, to show how clever his betrayal of me (and the company) is.
One of the Vice Presidents is also smirking at me.
The President of the company is there and he's not at all happy.
I carefully state, “As far as I'm aware there are no errors in the program. In any case, none have been reported. I have no idea what it is that Alvin thinks is wrong.”
Alvin smirks at me and announces, “Jason, I'll show you an error in the program, an error that you already know about.”
I turn and ask the customer representatives, “Do you want to see Alvin's little show?”
The customer representatives have no real choice and they say that they do indeed want to see Alvin's show.
Alvin then sits at the console and runs the test that I showed him, when I was using a patched program tape with a wrong units call.
Of course, the test then runs as it's supposed to run, since I have fixed the problem in the customer acceptance test version of the program.
I ask, “Alvin, where is the error that you told us about?”
Alvin snarls, “You tricked me! I saw an error in the test, yesterday.” Alvin then stalks out of the area, before I can call the guards to throw him out.
Then Dana sort of slinks in and announces, “I think that I have found an error in the program.” She then grins at me, to show how cleverly she's handling her betrayal of me.
The same Vice President, who was smirking along with Alvin is now looking everywhere but in my eyes or in customer eyes.
The President of the company is still observing the scene and he's not at all happy.
I carefully state, “As far as I'm aware there are no errors in the program. In any case, none have been reported. I have no idea what it is that Dana thinks is wrong.”
Dana announces, “I'll show you an error that I found in the program, an error that you should know about.”
I sigh, turn and ask the customer representatives, “Do you want to see Dana's little show?”

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