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Grant Birchmeier is from West Michigan but currently lives in Chicagoland.

Aggravation in the UK

I've been in the UK for two weeks and counting. I was supposed to go home yesterday, but I'm still here.

I work for a major US mobile phone maker (guess!), and I'm in the UK doing field testing of a phone that we're going to release soon for a service provider here. I'll have to be light on details because I don't think either company would appreciate me dishing dirt, and I generally like my job (the past few days aside).

Basically, someone messed up. They put a software "fix" into the phone that broke a fundamental feature. We found this out on Friday afternoon. On Friday we were to release a final candidate software build. Instead of packing to fly home, I was instead waiting for the guys back home to send me a build with the "fix" removed.

    (times are approximate and quotes are embellished)
  • 6:30pm - They've sent a build. We've loaded the phone. We hit the road so we can go to the testing area, which is out in the middle of nowhere because that's the only place where the coverage is crap enough to cause the issue we need to test.
  • 7:00pm - I get a call.

    "Hey Grant, that build we gave you? We built it wrong. Can you download another one? We'll have it ready in an hour."

    "What? Dude, we're 45 minutes from the office. If we go back we're not going out again."

    "Is there anywhere you can download it?"

    "What, like an internet cafe or something? I don't know, I don't live here."

    At this point our driver from Manpower says, "We're not far from my house. We can stop by and you can try to use my wireless connection..."
  • 7:45pm - We've been hanging at the driver's house where he lives with his mom and her two (racing-rescued) greyhounds. It smells like dog but she's quite nice and the dogs are very well-behaved and friendly. More importantly, the driver's wireless is hella fast. The build from Chicago is ready and I get it and load the phones.
  • 8:00pm - We hit the road. Again.
  • 8:30pm - Where the hell are we? We're not lost, but it's like a freaking jungle here. This is British BFE. We're driving down a kinda-paved one-lane road that looks like we're in a tunnel made from tree trunks and leaves. If I wasn't pissed off and tired, it'd be kinda cool. Most importantly, 3G coverage sucks here (and no where else, apparently), so we can test the thing that got broke.
  • 10:00pm - Done. After a bunch of driving back and forth and making calls, Chicago is satisfied that it works as well as it did before whoever idiots broke it.
  • 11:00pm - Back at the office. Time to send emails!

So generally, that sucked. It's Saturday morning and I'm not on a plane. I'm back in the office. They will send another build, the "official-release-for-real-this-time" build, and we will drive back out to British BFE to test the same crap again. What they didn't tell us yesterday was that the build won't ready until Chicago morning-time, which is afternoon here. So what do I do until then? I guess you're looking at it.


2006-12-07 12:53pm Battlefield Improvisation


2006-10-03 8:54pm Because You Demanded It
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