27 October, 2009

Glimmerings of sentience?

Ted's asked me to read an email he sent to a client yesterday to see if I'm happy with it. Understandably this set alarm bells ringing, not least because he's never given a damn about my opinion on anything before now.

It actually manages to be worse than I suspected.

It's a mixture of a hand-washing confession of ignorance and simultaneous attempt to provide answers based on a loose keyword search in Google (have I mentioned before that he doesn't know how to actually use Google or, indeed, any kind of search tool?), culminating in a half-hearted plea for more information.

Each part by itself isn't that bad.  It's not great, either, and is written in Ted's unique brand of Pidgin English, the very existence of which is an achievement in itself as English is nominally his first - and only - language. But I certainly don't have a problem with telling clients we don't know the answer and need some more information from them before we can proceed. I wish he'd do it more often instead of making stuff up and then leaving it to someone else to clean up the mess.

Okay, perhaps I was being overly charitable: the middle part, the random web search for things he thinks might be useful to the client?

It's heroically bad. It's on par with the algorithm Amazon use for their recommendations ("We see you bought a copy of the graphic novel From Hell. Would you like a pair of Wolverine underpants to go with that?"), but even that doesn't convey the scale of how truly bad it is.

Which is: it's so bad that even Ted suspects he's not making any sense.

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