Saturday, 5 September 2009

Please give generously

The other day I was at home rather late, still in my tracksuit that serves as good nightwear. Not exactly in a see-other-people mood, I'm trying to work on one of my computing assignments and get it in by Father's Day, the deadline. My terminal is labelled "Cygwin Bash Shell" on the shortcut on my laptop, and I sure as hell feel like bashing its shell sometimes when I see those errors pop up.

Anyhow, I hear a knock at the door and I decided to answer it despite my non-people-ish mood. After all, if it's a competition that I wasn't aware I'd entered and I'd just won a year's supply of Nudie Juice or something, it might brighten up my day. And if it were a member of my fa,ily who'd forgotten their keys and I refused to answer, I'd never hear the end of it. Not worth not answering!

So I went to the door, answered, and it was a lady from World Vision who started off on her obviously rehearsed spiel,

"Hi, I'm from World Vision, I don't wish to put a dampener on your day, but a child dies in this world every 3 seconds ..."

She got about as far as "I don't wish to put a dampener on your day" when the first thing I thought was "Is she apologising for coming to the door, because yes, that did put a dampener on my day. I'm in my trakkies turn pjs! And if she didn't want to put a dampener on my day, why did she knock?"

While there may be some people who absolutely jump with joy at the sight of a charity collector aproaching them, I'm not one of them, and I don't know anyone who's confessed it's one of their little happinesses. On the other hand I realise that charity collectors really believe in their causes and want to collect money for them, and they choose something which they know - or a pretty sure - will get a strong emotional reaction. For instance, dying children.

We all feel strongly about dying children. Or people with terminal cancer. Or ... well there are plenty of other things that get us sad, emotional, or angry at the state of the world.

I'm envisioning a new kind of sales approach,

"Hi, I'm Dorothy, I don't wish to put a dampener on your day, but a charity collector harasses someone for money at least every three seconds on average around the world, and I'm sure you'll agree that's totally unacceptable. We've had a wonderful response in relation to that from your neighbours, and if you'll just sign here it's totally tax deductible ..."


Anonymous Bosch said...

Ah, well, see. . . the original Unix shell, sh, was written by Stephen Bourne and is consequently known as the Bourne Shell. When it was re-written and expanded, the new version was christened the Bourne Again shell, bash.

We're witty as hell, we computer people.

Maria said...

I feel like bashing it at the moment. I'm trying to write this program that just ... won't ... be .... written.

It's a sudoku puzzle but not just that, there are all these parameters as to how it has to be written, input, output, theories you have to use, blah blah.

I'm about to do me in. I've only had a few weeks programming, This is not fair!