Friday, January 28, 2011

Office Blunders

“Hey I’m going home now. Will you be okay?” My team lead’s voice snapped me out of my daze. I looked up from my computer screen. She was standing on the other side of the desk combing her hair, her backpack slung over a shoulder.

“Sure. You go ahead”, I answered, forcing a smile. “I can handle it from here.”

“Ok”, she said as she smiled back. “See you tomorrow”. I watched her until she walked out the door then went back to my screen.

I had two windows open. One was a notepad window with my code in it. Another was an email saying that it didn’t work. It was for an item that I worked on with a teammate. I actually finished my part before he finished his, but I was the one who got an error.

“Any luck with the bug?” my teammate asked me. He was in his desk, fiddling with his computer. He had nothing left to do, actually. He was just waiting for me to fix my error so we could proceed with our deployment.

“No, I still can’t figure it out,” I sighed as I leaned back on my chair, tilting it as far as it would go. Perhaps the code would be clearer if I looked at it from a distance.

“Is it still the same bug?” he asked.

I nodded. “Yeah, still the same one we got yesterday and the other day,”

“I don’t understand. You said it worked just fine when you tested it,” he said, his puzzled voice echoing my thoughts.

“Yeah, it did. It ran really well,” I answered as I wheeled my chair backwards to the table behind me until it hit with a light thud. My eyes were still on my screen. “It’s probably a problem with the servers again. We really need to replace those things.”

“Oh. I never had server problems before”, he said thoughtfully.

“Neither have I, actually,” I admitted. I started spinning my chair around, hitting a nearby trash bin with my feet at each turn. “I’ve heard stories from the other developers though. Man, I hate this item. We’ve been staying overtime for two nights now.”

“I did send the correct codes, right?” he suddenly said in a worried voice. I looked at him and saw that he was already frantically looking through the code I emailed him two days earlier.

I stepped my foot down. My teammate started talking again while scrolling down the email, “Oh man, I can’t screw another one up. I’ve been here three months and I’ve already broken more stuff than anyone else.”

I quickly wheeled back to my desk. If he had indeed screwed it up then I would be really pissed off. I had been acting as his mentor of sorts on that item. If he messes up, I’m also on the grill.

I opened the email I sent to him two days earlier. I opened the code attached to it and inspected it thoroughly for the first time. Not thirty seconds have passed before I let out an exasperated sigh. I spotted the problem. It took me a couple of minutes to fix it before I sent it to the deployment team.

“Hey, I’m going to smoke for a while,” I told my teammate as I stood up. “Text me if anything happens.”

I hurriedly walked out to our lobby and took the elevator down to the parking area in the fourth floor, which was where our smoking area was. I felt relieved when I saw that there was no one there. I needed time alone to think. I lit a cigarette, sucked in a lungful of smoke and blew it out.

I’m so stupid. How could I have been that careless? I should have checked it the first time.

I paced around, weaving through the cars as I continued to take long puffs. I had no choice but to tell him. And I had to tell the whole team as well. Maybe there was still a way to come out of this without looking bad. I had to think of a way.

A car in front of me suddenly turned on its lights and startled me. I frowned and stayed right where I stood until the driver honked at me. I moved over to the side but kept my eyes on him until he had driven all the way around the parking area and made his way down to the lower floor.

I looked at my cigarette. It was almost out. I sighed.

It was useless. I had to tell it exactly as it was. I dropped my cigarette and stepped on its last embers, the sound of my shoe hitting the concrete echoing as I stepped too hard.

I went back up and found my teammate looking a lot more cheerful than when I left him.

“Hey they just emailed. It’s working already,” he said with a big smile. “So you found the bug?”

I walked over to my desk and checked my email. Yep, there was the confirmation from the deployment team; a confirmation of a successful fix and a confirmation of my stupidity. I turned around to my teammate.

“Well, actually…” I started tentatively. I realized I was talking to his shoes so I looked up at him . “I found out what caused the error. It wasn’t a bug, actually. I… Uh… I sent you the wrong code.”

He turned to me. He had an inscrutable expression on his face. I was still trying to figure out whether it was of anger, frustration or disbelief when he suddenly laughed.

“Aw, come on, don’t laugh. It's frustrating,” I said, but my voice already sounded a lot lighter. “Hey, I’m really sorry.”

“Nah, it’s okay,” he said, smiling. “It’s a good thing you figured it out. We can go home now.” He stood up and started stuffing his things into his bag.

I shook my head and laughed at my own absurdity. He was a lot better than me. And I was no longer as good as I used to be.

“I’m going now,” he said as he closed his bag’s zipper. “Aren’t you going home yet?”

“No, you go ahead. I’ll test the damn item for a while. I want to make sure it really works,” I answered.

“Okay. See you tomorrow. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone,” he smirked.

 “Nah, I have to tell them. Coffee’s on me tomorrow,” I answered, hoping to god that my well-mannered teammates will not order grande.


  1. Hahaha. At least pag ikaw magkamali you could take it back. Ako kaya in the future? "Uhm, Sir, I think I took out the wrong testicle. UH, SORRY???"

  2. hoy nishiboy, EOP talaga? parang hindi naman. hahahaha

  3. @chuni: haha. wag naman sana.

    @james: siksikan mo ng pingpong ball.

    @nox: eop nga. haha.

  4. naks naman! you mustered and accepted that it's your responsibility. apir!

  5. Looks like someone has the courage to do the right thing. =)


  6. @ced: figured it was the "mature" thing to do.

    @kane: it took a lot of effort. haha.