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Dirtscapes

Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

Systemspeak Three-Visited

Some more IT jargon de-mystified.

Stinker:
A particularly virulent, steaming, stinking mail-turd shot off usually by a user at the end of his tether thanks to your ‘coding’ and ‘analysis’. The degree of odour is directly proportional to the rank and file of the sender. If it’s a lowly menial, not a leaf stirs, and life goes on happily and stinkily(sic) in Eden. Rant all you want, we ain’t giving a damn here. But if it’s a fat cat, then all hell breaks loose…with a mad scramble for some air fresheners… Also used by bosses when they feel something is ‘just not right’ and people need a jolt of motivation…
Usage:
“Dekha kya? Kya stinker maarela hai…”

Gentle Reminder:
The first time I read this, I was stung to tears by the inherent irony here. How can a WRITTEN reminder be ‘gentle’?! Verbally speaking, yes it can. The tone and modulation of your voice, with a little tact/deference depending on whom you are speaking to thrown in, can be thought of as asking gently about a certain issue which has been (conveniently) forgotten about. But when written out in a mail, ‘gentle reminder’ stands out even more starkly. Do you concur?

Escalate:
As close as we can get to an actual Catch-22. When faced with a situation you don’t know how to tackle, there’s but one option. Just like Commissioner Gordon always calls Batman, you ‘escalate’. That is, play footsie with the problem in hand till it propagates to the next logical bunch of people, who in turn keep passing it on, till the issue gets miraculously resolved. On it’s own…most of the times too.
The Catch-22 thing is applicable to a fresher Support Slave. When faced with a production issue, what to do? Oh what to do? (Catch one and shake two – as a schoolmate of mine would have said… doesn’t make sense I know…but it’s fun to say it all the same. Try it sometime.)
If you sit on it, without acting, you don’t know what you will hatch – Medusa, Frankenstein, Incubus or worse still - an outage. But if you escalate a laughably simple problem, you run the risk of needing a LOT of soothing suppositories. As one of the earliest cynics has wryly commented –
“Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Escalate.”

On A Very High Level:
This, my people, is the sole prerogative of the ‘bada log’. If you as a lowly developer happen to use this, you run the risk of being severely serenaded to eternal sleep. A BIG no-no there…you’re supposed to know. How can you not know?! Used by the elite when they are rushing into conference calls, after having hurriedly gone through the agenda/issue list. Serves as an effective barrier against a lot of ‘other-party’ angst, since you’re confessing you know a little, but not confessing you know jack either. Which is the absolute truth.
Usage:
"On a very high level, what I know is…"

POC:
Another one of those things which you’re supposed to know, and people actually act surprised when you don’t understand. Stands for ‘Proof Of Concept’. One of the most painful activities ever, considering how confidently you would have farted about something being possible earlier on to an audience of anyone from your boss, the client or your colleagues. Then when you foray through the actual code and try to implement what you claim, you realize that it’s time for a facial treatment – an egg-pack to be more precise. Be very scared of the POC. Very.

Take A Call:
When faced with a particularly sticky, ear-flaming, sweaty-in-spite-of-the-air-conditioning decision, you’re helpfully asked to ‘take a call’, since guess what…‘it’s your call’. Don’t say we didn’t warn you… (Heh Heh). Most excruciating, when you know you’re in for a fun time, either ways. But it was your call…
Another Catch-22 if I may…

Ro Raha Hai/Bhonk Raha Hai:
Not used for whom you think…these generally refer to program errors which need something – either a command line argument or a config or ini file on startup - not getting which they bawl like colicky babies or freshly-stoned dogs.
Usage:
“Dekh kaunse line pe ro raha hai?”

ASAP:
Everything in this busy world of ours has to be As Soon As Possible. People just love to use this, because it strokes their flaccid egos when they garnish emails with this magic word. You imagine a veritable bee-hive of activity as soon as the receiver gets your urgent missive. People falling over each other, furniture being upturned, burnt, office equipment getting trashed - a mini-stampede in fact, with harried drones each scrambling and vying to get going to carry out your ASAP activity…
Reality check?
“Yaaaawn… dekh be…aur ek ASAP aaya hai. ASAP.” (perfunctory disinterested laughter)
“Stinker maarne tak rukte hain…ASAP…bada aaya”

A proper victim of overuse this. Poor word. Sounds pretty impressive at first, but gradually loses its menace as you can see.

PS:
For those who came in late, more can be found here and here.
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2:33 PM, March 14, 2006
Blogger avantika said...

Loved this :-)

How about 'Black box/White box'... and 'Please revert'?    



3:00 PM, March 14, 2006
Anonymous raghu said...

cool one dude...
how about "hang mara"...as in kithar hang mara dekh..??    



3:17 PM, March 14, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good ones...the review of HIS movies was the best ;-)

EP
http:\\squashedbrain.rediffblogs.com    



10:52 AM, March 15, 2006
Blogger Tapan said...

Avantika,
Will store those away carefully for another future post...

Raghu,
ditto

EP,
Glad u liked the G9 reviews...    



12:32 PM, March 15, 2006
Anonymous raghu said...

i forgot to mention the mother of all "manual effort tracker"..fresh out of college i got totally stumped by this... 'taps' mail me for the answer, i don't want to spoil the suspense for your reader community    



2:19 PM, March 17, 2006
Blogger Ranjith Kumar said...

Arey yaar ..

You forgot the most dreadful of them all .. "Arey yaar, tera code phat raha hai" to which the reply invariably is "Mere machine mein tho kaam kar raha tha"

Anyways, ur G9 reviews are awesome and so is this one.    



1:49 AM, March 18, 2006
Blogger Tapan said...

ranjith,
that 'mere machine pe...' is legendary. 'code phat raha hai' has been covered in a previous post...check out the links I've mentioned in the last line of the post :)
G9 Rules!    



5:43 PM, March 29, 2006
Anonymous Sudharshan said...

Tapan you have outdone yourself this time..hehe..keep it up..    



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