Reply to post: Wrote a system to transmit data to US Border Patrol.

Remembering Y2K call-outs and the joy of the hourly contractor rate


Wrote a system to transmit data to US Border Patrol.

Around Y2K the USA got paranoid about people invading from ships. Seemed improbable as there were lots of quicker and more dangerous ways - like the Canadian and Mexican borders but they were paying. Well actually the shipping support company I worked for, sounded a bit like Inchcape cars, was.

Had three months to get it all ok - me and me oppo (Hello Pete) and we bloody well did it. Not helped that the US Coastguard who were administrating it were prioritising US firms first and we came well down the list. Anyway, it were there. Singing and dancing.

And (probably Y2K+1) I got a phone call from the state side scene manager. At 3.45 ish on New Years day. "Panic. Panic. Panic. Oh and definitely Panic". Understandable as demurrage charges could run to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. (This was just stupid, taking on a risk of $100K plus based on a computer (bog standard PC) running in Essex for a deal worth 50-500$)

And just me and my oppo (Hello Pete) running tier 1-3 support as well as developing the damn thing. I had tried to get it offloaded (no team available), had pointed out we were hired as developers (well doesn't that include support? You wrote it) and told me oppo (Hello Pete) to go off for Christmas and the New Year, and get stotious and I would handle the brown stuff hitting the fan.

Being very soft hearted and actually not blaming the American lass at all, she had been eminently suitable to talk to on the phone, liked Mark Twain, and after we had explained that consistency in her requirements was perhaps the deal breaker (Only three months, shedloads of work, …) I explained I was pissed, very pissed and would deal with it some time later today - only to be told "I don't care how angry you are - we need to fix this!)

After the 2 people separated by a common language misunderstanding I managed to point out that

* the office was closed

* I wasn't a key holder

* I didn't have remote access

* I had been whinging (repeatedly pointing out these issues) for the last 2 months

And when I looked at it the next day it was a simple Y2k+1 issue.

That solved all the first three points above.

Not even a conspiracy. Just an unfortunate set of circumstances.

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