Just as I was bemoaning my growing cynicism to buddy, Vinnie "keeping 'em honest" Mirchandani, this crazy thing crosses my desk.
Blogger Jason Roe tried to book a flight on Ryanair, only to discover a website bug resulting in zero-cost fares. Here's his screen capture:
Well, bugs happen and it's not the end of the world, but then an apparent Ryanair employee made these comments:
jason! you’re an idiot and a liar!! fact is! you’ve opened one session then another and requested a page meant for a different session, you are so stupid you dont even know how you did it! you dont get a free flight, there is no dynamic data to render which is prob why you got 0.00. what self respecting developer uses a crappy CMS such as word press anyway AND puts they’re mobile ph number online, i suppose even a prank call is better than nothing on a lonely sat evening!!
Seeing this, I realized two things:
- My growing cynicism, which arises from endlessly studying the human aspect of technology failures, is justified.
- The human dimension of technology really does matter most.
An isolated web bug became an internet spectacle because some guy supposedly working for Ryanair forgot that people are more important than techno-stuff. And that, friends, is how IT failures usually work.
As this talkback points out, it's important to recognize that the so-called Ryanair employee could easily be an imposter:
Look at all the people here with screen names. I could just as easily take your name as a screen name, [and] post a blog on this guy's site....
So, take the Ryanair "employee's" response with a grain of salt, even though the lessons about technology, people, and failure still hold true.