System Limitations: An Urban Myth

You guys know what a standard account creation email might look like. The ones that say “Hi, thanks for registering on XXX, here’s a thing to setup your password.”

Our software has a website built in. Since the software is built for client management, any customer who signs up on one of our clients’ sites gets an account created in the software, as well as that nice little email. The password/activation stuff is unique to each registrant.

But since this email is a hard coded system generated email that all of our clients’ contacts will get, due to the shit required on the back end to make each email unique for security purposes, it can’t be modified by clients or by us. We have an email template feature if you want to make and customize your own shit, but the account creation email can’t be adjusted. We aren’t having clients break the shit by stuffing it full of images and gifs like they do everything else.

One of our new clients called in today. We’ll call him Wario.

Me: Thanks for calling Company, this is Drej. How can I help?

Wario: Yeah, I want to make some changes to one of the email templates.

There’s some back and forth about which one he’s referring to, but I figured out he’s meaning the activation email.

Me: So, unfortunately, that activation email isn’t able to be modified. It’s got very specific programming that makes it unique to each contact for security purposes, which is why we aren’t able to edit it. But if you’d like, you can create your own email template with your own verbiage to use as a “welcome” email.

Wario: Yeah, but that won’t have the activation stuff in it, will it?

Me: The custom email templates will not, but many of our clients do have fully customized welcome emails that they send after the contact gets the initial password setup email.

Wario: Yeah, but that’s sending two emails and I don’t want to do that. Why can’t I just edit the email itself?

My eyeroll could have rendered me blind.

Me: As I mentioned, we aren’t able to make changes to that email due to the way it’s coded in the system to generate a unique activation for every contact.

Wario: But I don’t want my contacts seeing that verbiage, I want to put my own in there. I’ve gotta look as professional as possible and I want it personalized to my company. Is there someone else I can talk to to get this done for me?

Me: I’m afraid we just have no ability to make those types of edits, and I understand how frustrating that may be. It isn’t necessarily a matter of who can do it, but whether or not it can be done. Unfortunately, it isn’t something we are able to change.

Wario: Well, you built the system, didn’t you? Who set this up? Who designed this?!

Me: The developers?

Wario: Exactly. So you see what I’m talking about. Can’t you just grant me access to your back end?

Me: That’s not possible, I’m afraid.

Wario: Then can’t you change this for me on your end?

Me: I’m afraid not. I apologise for that, and I do want to help you here as much as I can, but this is just something we aren’t able to do.

Rinse and repeat the above for another 25 or so minutes. At this point, I admit he’d worn me down due to all the other similar miserable calls I’d gotten that day alone. Not to the point where I was going to cave, but at the point where I was considering just making otter noises until he hung up. That’s how much progress we’d made.

Wario: I know this is a frustrating call, but I think you can understand where I’m coming from here. I just need you to get me to whoever can make this happen for us, and I’ll be out of your hair.

At this point, coupled with the smug, “this is gonna happen” attitude he’d had throughout the whole call, I was unapologetically picturing him being dangled alive over an active volcano. Naked.

Me: All right. Let me see if I can get you in touch with one of our supervisors, and they may be able to explain a bit better why we are not able to do this. If you’ll just let me know the best phone number to reach you-

Wario: But I’ve got my team here right now, and we want to get this all set up right away. Are you sure you can’t just change this for us, or give me access?

Me: I cannot grant you access, or make a change to something that cannot be changed. I’m telling you, there is not a way for us to do this if we wanted to. I’m doing my best to help you out the best I can here, but the workaround I’ve provided is the best we can accommodate.

Wario: And I don’t think we’re understanding each other. I need to be able to change this. If I’m not able to use the software I paid for, I’ll have to start looking elsewhere. If you can’t make this change, then I need you to get me in touch with your supervisors, your developers – I want this taken as high as possible. I know there is someone on your end who’s capable of doing it.

Did I say naked and dangling over an active volcano? I changed my mind. Locked in a room full of nothing but nesting spiders and marshmallows. Webs everywhere so you can’t guess by sight which are the egg sacs and which are the marshmallows.

At this point, I loop in my manager and transfer the fucker over. The same battle occurs.

Manager lets me know he gave Wario the same workarounds, and Wario didn’t leave happy but seemed to accept it.

Unfortunately, hours later, Wario called back in to bully someone else in the same manner about his stupid email templates. She told him the same thing we had.

He escalated once more. And is also apparently emailing every contact he can find in the company to “get this as high as he can”. Tomorrow is going to be hilarious.

TL:DR: Middle aged sentient fart wants access to dev resources to make his account activation email pretty. Is not getting them. Is quickly becoming the reason why shit is locked down. Man is on a mission.

submitted by /u/QuantumDrej
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