Whimsical bug reports

Whimsical bug reports, while not a common occurence, aren't exactly unheard of either. They are a popular way to vent a shared frustration and lighten the mood.

Recently, we changed milk suppliers for our cafeterias. Well, more accurately, our previous milk supplier was bought by another milk company. The problem is that the single-serving milk cartons from the new company are hard to open.

So of course what you do is file a bug.

Bug: New milk cartons are hard to open.

Repro: Go to cafeteria, get milk carton, attempt to open it, get napkins and clean up mess.

(The reason is that the milk company bought a brand new machine which seals the cartons with too much glue. They are working to adjust the seal.)

A few work-arounds were suggested, including bringing your own cow and a three-step process of freezing the milk, tearing the carton open, then allowing the milk to thaw. Others explain that the fix is held up in testing: "Currently only 3 testers are handling this component and they can only drink 8 cartons a day. The team could conduct more carton-opening tests but carton-tasting, milkflow testing and carton pressure tests are still remaining." Plus of course a security review needs to be made of the consequences of a weaker seal.

This is a particularly software-oriented joke, because it highlights how hard it is to make bugfixes in software - by applying the software testing regimen to something that isn't software. You can't assume that a simple, local change like adjusting the amount of glue applied to the carton will result in a simple, local change in the final product (a more acceptable seal strength). Software is nonlinear. A simple change can have effects (some catastrophic, some subtle) far, far away from the point of change.

Comments (12)
  1. Mike Dunn says:

    When I was on the NAV team at Symantec, circa 1997, it was a couple months before the ship date and the team wanted shirts. The team shirt was something we really looked forward to, and of course we *had* to have cooler shirts than the NU guys on the other side of the floor.
    So anyway, it was getting kinda late in the project and still no shirts, so one of the dev guys entered a bug like this:

    Defect #: 1234
    Severity: 1, high, showstopper
    Bug: Missing T-shirts

    The team and our managers got a kick out of it, but the product manager at the time wasn’t as receptive to the morale boost that comes along with tchatchkies, and she set the bug to:

    Status: Postponed

    This kinda ticked us off, but hey, we tried. So, next year, the same thing happens. This time, I take the initiative and enter this bug:

    Defect #: 5678
    Severity: 1, high, showstopper
    Bug: Missing T-shirts
    Note: May be related to bug #1234

    Again, we got a laugh out of it, and I think that time we actually got shirts, although as I recall my bug got Postponed too (grr, silly PMs).

  2. Kelli Zielinski says:

    I think that if we tried to file one of those in our database, someone would probably chew us out. :: sigh :: I want to file a fun bug… Perhaps, "Too many children playing in hallways during work hours." Or "building 9 cafeteria looks like a daycare."

  3. quanta says:

    Whoa, I was visiting the MS campus the other week, I was wondering why the milk was so @*#&$! hard to open…and what’s with people leaving half-finished cartons of chocolate milk in the coolers?

  4. Re: half-finished chocolate milk cartons: I think those are from the amateur mocha makers.

  5. J.P. says:

    Yeah, most people put chocolate milk in coffee rather than regular milk. However, some people put the leftover milk back in the cooler rather than the refridgerator. (kind of annoying, but oh well)

  6. J.P. says:

    Yeah, most people put chocolate milk in coffee rather than regular milk. However, some people put the leftover milk back in the cooler rather than the refridgerator. (kind of annoying, but oh well)

  7. Aakash says:

    I had no idea this bug (which I opened for a lark) would garner so much attention.
    I guess we ARE all geeks.

  8. Kelli Zielinski says:

    We’re reading Raymond’s blog, Aakash. I think that qualifies us for geeks.

    That drives me *nuts* when people leave them open in the fridge. If you don’t want the whole thing for your coffee, then just DRINK the darn thing. It’s not going to kill anyone to drink some chocolate milk (well, unless they’re allergic to chocolate, but at that point, I’d question them putting it in their coffee anyway).

  9. david says:

    hey people cheer up u may be geeks but know i am popular and cool unlike u so there’s something 4 u to live up 2!:)

  10. Anonymous says:

    JErm Rebirth » Whimsical Bug Report

  11. Raymond Chen says:

    Commenting on this bug has been closed.

Comments are closed.