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Quick retorts to unreasonable requests

Programming needs to be a mandatory class in school for the same reason that reading and writing are: it will soon be impossible to function in society without all those skills. But there's no moment in history that doesn't have some kind of transition taking place, with scores of people who are stuck in that transition and do not understand the changes. Some know this and mind their own business, while some struggle destructively. These retorts are blunt instruments to use with the illiterate when necessary.
  • "The fuel distributor from a Pratt & Whitney Turboprop Engine will not work in a Norelco Electric Shaver, even though both can be used to cut grass"
    Response to a customer who thinks I can cut-n-paste code from an unrelated program that appears to do the same thing

  • "With modern technology it is possible to build Rome in a day, but the Colosseum would be a bouncy castle"
    Response to a request for an earlier completion date

  • "Every time you open the door, it costs fifty bucks"
    A not unrealistic accounting of the productivity lost when a room full of $100k programmers are interrupted and have to get back into the zone

  • "We've chosen to piss you off now and get it over with, rather than put up with all the bitching you'd be doing later"
    Response to a complaint that we didn't do it the quick way

  • "Hacks charge a 79% APR"
    Equating quick-fixes with loan sharks

  • "This is the Internet, not some kind of global standards-based high-speed network"
    Response when an outsourced SOA component failed

  • "When a phone rep is working, you can hear exactly what she's doing. How do you know that programmer isn't thinking about going home and getting some sleep?"
    Response to a request for extending the working hours

  • "Software isn't Play Doh, it's Quickrete"
    Response to a complaint that changes aren't being made fast enough

  • "There are only 25 hours in a day and 8 days a week"
    When someone wanted to know why everything they could think of hadn't been implemented yet

  • "We've been playing a game of Twister where everybody has rubber arms and legs"
    Used to justify time-off from creating new features in order to do some refactoring
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