We are all used to everyone thinking what we do is “easy.” “Shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes” is a familiar dictation from some of our self-declared savvy patrons who have voiced in on a chore or task that we know consists of hours and not minutes. So it is refreshing when you get those far and few between software developer reviews from a first-rate client who has a sense of humor, has their feet firmly planted on the ground, and are plugged into reality.

Since this was such a great communication exchange, we asked for permission to share – and he said have at it. Enjoy, we did.

Hi Rick,

Unfortunately, I suffered a couple setbacks. Mr. Murphy, who I’m sure you’ve familiar with, has been quite busy, lately. Mr. Murphy’s infamous snowball has cause a bit of work. My business was broken into and the damage was extensive. It took a couple weeks of sixteen hour days to get everything fixed and operational again. Of course, this caused me to fall behind on homework, so now I’m coming from deep in my end zone with less than a minute of play on the clock, in a do-or-die effort to salvage this semester. On top of all this, we had a death in the family that required a quick trip.

The good news is, I came into this Doctoral program with both eyes open, knowing the Universe would throw everything it had at me. It looks like I’m going to win this one; a bit frazzled, battle weary and a few more scars, but the new day looks good, so far. The old adage, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, is proving to be true.

On the database, I started from scratch, only because I knew so little about database design. Once I’m more comfortable with what I need to learn, I’ll get back on your interface, which shouldn’t be very long once I get past the crunch. Already, I’m using your interface as an example on problems I’m coming across.

The initial problem occurred when I believed everything Filemaker said in their marketing material. According to the material, anyone with an IQ of 90 or above can build a database like the pro’s in five minutes or less. Of course, this is assuming you know at least the most fundamental concepts about the complexities of creating an interface for idiots, (as in idiot proofing the interface with error-traps, proper use of adjectives/adverbs and keeping the user from doing the most stupid things you’ve never thought of). When I finished the interface for creating the event list, I gave it to my wife and daughter to use. It took them less than five minutes to create such a mess of things that I had to pull the backup, proving the six-P’s still rules (Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance).

I now see your job in a whole new light. I kneel and lay praise at your feet, in appreciation for what you guys do. While I’m convinced that FileMaker Pro is certainly my best option, this is not a one-stop-shop, but a journey in which dues must be paid.

Thank you for your diligence and dedication to great customer support. I will be in touch as soon as I can.

Sincerely yours,

Terry Southern