Saturday March 2nd, 2013

The exercise:

Write a four line poem that has something to do with: open/closed.

Hey, you know what's fun*?

Attempting to file your taxes online, finally getting to the end of it all, and then being greeted by an error message indicating that your son's portion of the forms need an answer to a question indicating that he is a Canadian citizen. Otherwise? Can't file your taxes online.

Thing is? There is no bloody question, anywhere, asking if he's Canadian.

*Fun might not be the word(s) I was looking for there. Though I think I had the first two letters right for one of them.


The sign says Open,
But the door's still locked.
Those who shall enter
Know the secret knock.


Greg said...

That certainly sounds like a SNAFU moment, and depressingly common in government work. It comes down to trying to automate a viciously complicated process: trying to get the use cases for everybody becomes impossible. It would help, of course, if they'd acknowledge that it probably wasn't perfect and provide a form for explaining the bug and a way for you to save the data you've already entered, but that would be far too sensible....

Great little poem, it made me smile and it's so jaunty too! Perfect rhythm.

Open and closed
The mathematician's wife (God preserve her life)
Stared in horror at a clopen door
"But how do I get out?" she was heard to shout,
(Her answer was to dig up all the floor).

[In mathematics it's possible for sets to be both open and closed at the same time, and so they are called "clopen" as a convenient portmanteau. It is also possible to have sets which, when they are made closed, remain open and to have spaces where every point contained with an open set is actually a centre of that set. There's a reason mathematicians are the way they are ;-) ]

Marc said...

Greg - progress has been saved, an email has been sent. Still waiting for a reply. Will check for a phone number to call tomorrow, if I'm feeling calm enough...

God preserve her life indeed :P