So I get a phone call from the designated victim at my main client. The guy has been picked since they know I'm about to implode and he's one of the few I respect there and they hope that I will spare his life when I go thermo-nuclear.
THEY have a customer who's operational staff seems to consist of in-bred idiots who have somehow stumbled onto a fool-proof way to make money. Cuz, lord love a duck, these idiots establish new levels of stupidity every time I have to deal with one of their requests to change my client's software to accommodate their latest flight in la-la land. This crowd once had me change a product label five times. In ONE day.
So the newest request came yesterday. They want an asterisk on the end of their part numbers. Now, that doesn't SEEM like a bizarre request. But there's a small technical detail. The asterisk screws up barcodes. Well, maybe not ALL barcodes, but the most popular one, barcode 3 of 9. The one my client uses for ALL of its customers. And because of that, I have written very specific safeguards into the systems software there to prevent an asterisk from ever getting accidentally input into the part number system.
And today, even after sending my client the info about the barcode issue, they woke me up to tell me, yep, go ahead with changing 20 years of protective software to accommodate these loons. Besides, it will only be needed for six months, That's because the asterisk is going to used to show which products are being made of one material before changing over to another material a half year hence. No, the customer won't use a letter to designate the old material. Yes, the customer understands that they WON'T BE ABLE TO READ THE BARCODES. Yes, the customer is right, because they represent millions of dollars of net income to my client. And besides, it will only be for six months.
I have temper issues. It's a big reason why I work away from people. The assault laws and all. But my blood pressure spiked on this one. It's one thing to suggest stupid things. It's another thing entirely to ask for something, get told it's REALLY, REALLY A HORRIBLE IDEA, and then say, "Ya, I hear you. But do it anyway."
There's no getting around this. I will have to do it, although I have suggested at least one option that doesn't completely futz up the whole system and is barcodable (something asterisk-like, but not an asterisk). But if I can dilly dally long enough, maybe a falling piece of space debris will fall onto their building and wipe these morons off the face of the earth.
Or maybe I'll retire before then. Where's that ticket from last night's lottery?