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Jul 01 2009

Crapping the digital slide

FYI: the names in the following entry have been changed to prevent potential lawsuits.

I was having breakfast at the office with two of my favorite colleagues a couple weeks ago when the subject of nursery school came up. Given that I don't have any kids myself, I pretty much just sat back and listened to the conversation…which they naturally carried on in lightening-fast Swedish.

At one point Anna was describing an incident on the playground several years ago in which a child at her sons' school had a rather embarrassing "accident" from which her parents had yet to recover. Initially I thought I had missed a pertinent detail of the story due to the rapid-fire Swedish, but it turned out Anna was being purposefully coy about the precise nature of the "accident" because, well, we were having breakfast after all.

So I waited until both she and Eliza had finished eating before asking, in English, for a clarification.

"Are you saying that the kid crapped the slide?"

At which point they both burst out laughing because evidently the phrase "crapped the slide" is a lot funnier than its Swedish equivalent. My colleagues liked it so much that we decided to start a campaign to make it part of the company lexicon as an idiom for an incident so mortifyingly embarrassing that you and your family end up being scarred for life.

We were still laughing about it a couple of days later when Eliza and I were experimenting with a new feature of the content management system we use to run the company websites. It allows you to place a block of text in quote format so that it stands out in a client case or customer reference page.

Using a draft of a client case page that had not yet been published on the site, Eliza added the following text:

"Oh Lord…I've really crapped the slide. Sure wish there was a Global Company XYZ service technician on hand to give me advise."

— Shazzer MyRealLastName 

The new quote box rendered just as we expected it to and we had a nice chuckle over how "official" it looked on the dummy page, in spite of the typo…which we didn't bother to correct. It was just a draft, after all.

Fast-forward to yesterday afternoon when I was working on a different client case page. After hitting the "publish" button, I noticed a link where there shouldn't have been one. That's right…the draft page with the "crapped the slide" quote attributed to me had been LIVE on our corporate website for about 3 weeks.

Worse yet, neither Eliza nor I could not get the content management system to take it offline no matter what we tried! Panicked (and yet still laughing uncontrollably) we ended up having to delete the page entirely just to get it to go away.

Later I sent the following text message to my co-colleague in crime:

"You do realize that accidently publishing the "crapped the slide" quote on the corporate website is a perfect example of actually CRAPPING THE SLIDE?"

Feed my ego!

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