Last week I had to pay a visit to a car service: my car needed an oil change and there were some other needed maintenance tasks.

The service is nicely organized: there’s a waiting room with clear walls that allow the customer to see how the mechanics work on their cars. They’ve recently added some video cameras allowing the manager to quickly see the mechanics as well. But they did a little mistake …

In the waiting room there are two PC-s connected to the Internet that any customer can use. Every time I pay them a visit, I sit at one of these PC-s and read some blogs (last time I’ve read a lot about Ember and JS, as these technologies are critical for our current project).

So, as soon as I’ve given them the car keys, I’ve sit in front of one of the PC-s and moved the mouse … the monitor kept showing “no video signal, check your cable connection”. Being the experienced developer I am, I reached for the reset button and pressed it, thinking the PC is old and it can’t come out of power-save. I’ve waited for a while, moved the mouse again, pressed some keys on the keyboard … nothing! So I’ve moved to the next PC and started reading about Ember.JS.

In a few minutes, the service manager came to the PC that I’ve just reset and started to operate on the mouse and the keyboard, while looking oddly above my head … then I’ve realized that the PC had been connected to a larger monitor that was hanging in the corner of the waiting room and the manager was looking at that monitor. I’ve told him what I did and I’ve apologized … and he said all cameras in the service were connected to that PC, and now he was not able to display their feed anymore. He was relieved that the problem was BTKATC, and not with his setup and then he laughed and said he’ll place a label on the PC saying “Please do not use”.

We both carried on.

My conclusion: even your well educated customers make mistakes, make sure you place clear guides everywhere.