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“Well, Doug, I think your wife is an idiot!”

The meeting was not going well.

It was hard to put too much blame on Doug, who was now in the unfortunate position of defending his wife’s true deficiencies as a user of the World Wide Web, but it was also his call to schedule an emergency meeting over lunch to discuss an issue that had so far only affected one user.

Hungry developers have little tolerance for stupid users, and Peggy Warren’s complaint was about as asinine as they come.

Instead of getting a tasty vendor lunch at the new Korean fusion kiosk under a nearby overpass, Tim, George, Rita and Mark were stuck in conference room 203-West, staring at a dim projection of the home page for a recently-developed website for one of their shoe clients.

And, things were getting a little testy.

Doug led off the meeting well enough, with a slew of compliments on the new websites design, color scheme, overall functionality and general “wow factor” (his words) for the agency portfolio. He’d learned in business school to always give a compliment before giving a criticism.

Unfortunately, the team wasn’t buying it.

“Just tell us what’s wrong,” Tim asked.

“It’s not that there’s anything wrong,” Doug offered. “It’s just that there may be an opportunity to make the comments section more user friendly.

“We followed the comps exactly,” Rita offered. “Weren’t they approved by your team and the client after many rounds of review?”

“Yes, that’s true,” Doug said. “It’s just that we’ve had some user complaints about how easy it is to post a comment before you’ve thought it out all the way.”

“Is this about that lady that said the new high tops looked like a child ate paint and then barfed it up in the factory?” George asked.

“Yeah,” Tim said, “we have an admin tool already so the client can take those down.”

“I know. I know.” Doug put his hands up in a defensive position. “It’s just that… Well, the client saw the comment and wasn’t very happy with it.”

“I’ll bet not.”

“Who cares what some rando thinks about their designs?”

“Well, it was actually my wife, Peggy, who posted the comment,” Doug revealed.

“Ha!” Three of the four developers laughed in unison.

“Oh, man,” Tim laughed. “What was she thinking?”

“She didn’t think the comment was actually getting posted,” Doug said. She meant to delete it. That’s why I’m saying it’s too easy to post a comment.”

“I forget, do you just have to hit Enter?” Mark asked. “I didn’t work on that part.”

“I did,” Tim said. “You have to click submit, and then you have to click ‘post’ in a pop up dialogue.”

“She did all of that on accident?” Rita asked.

“She thought she had deleted it,” Doug said. “That’s what I keep talking about. She had highlighted the text, but she didn’t know to hit ‘delete.'”

“She didn’t know to hit ‘delete?'” Four voices in unison.

“How would you have us fix this on our end?” George asked.

“I was thinking,” Doug suggested, “maybe we could add a graphic illustrating how to use the delete key. You know, maybe a picture of what it looks like.”

“Let me get this straight,” Tim said. “Your wife doesn’t know what the delete key looks like, but she’s witty enough to reference a vomiting child when describing the color scheme of the shoes?”

“Yeah, that was a pretty good burn,” George said.

“Well, our daughter may have written the comment, but she told my wife to delete it after they laughed about it.”

“I don’t think we can make this change, Doug,” Mark said.

“I think you guys can do it.” Doug was determined. “And, I don’t want to leave this room until we figure it out.”

He was playing hardball, but he had gone too far.

“Well, Doug, I think your wife is an idiot!”

Tim was the one who threw the gauntlet down.

For a few tense moments, he and Doug stared at each other. Tim knowing he shouldn’t have insulted Peggy. Doug knowing she kind of deserved it.

Pride took over.

“I’m going to delete you, son of a bitch!” Doug screamed and lunged across the table at Tim.

The two mean scuffled on the floor and the other developers watched in silence. It was an awkward fight between an aging executive and a scrawny tech head.

Nobody won. They just kind of stopped slapping each other and sat back breathing heavily.

George broke the silence.

“That was a pretty good burn, Doug.”

Photo credit: Vitor Sá Photo via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

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