It’s Singapore’s 53rd year of independence today but I didn’t feel like it is a holiday. My mood had pretty much been destroyed by the sudden onset of fatigue, full body aches, and allergy that saw me downing a few painkillers and anti-allergy medicine. I practically laid in bed from 12 noon to 6 in the evening.
In the morning, I went about playing Mass Effect Andromeda on my Xbox while feeling the constant pressure to check my phone because I’m on standby for the National Day parade. It was work-related. You see, the security application I was building with a team of people was deployed for use today. The application was pretty much what my previous mentor termed “proto-duction”. What it meant was that the application was still in proof-of-concept and development stage being used in production environment for SIT and UAT. The customer insisted that my company have a few people on standby to respond to any issues within the hour.
Since I was involved in the Trump-Kim summit a few months back for four-days straight starting from Sunday, it was my colleague’s turn this time. She wasn’t around that time as she went on an overseas trip with her family. However, it doesn’t mean I get away completely scot free. I am involved in the access control aspect of the whole application and so if there are any access rights issue, I would have to deal with it. At least remotely.
But as I said, I was practically attached to the bed sleeping. So I wasn’t much of a help. And I’m feeling guilty about it.
And I shall talk about what happened yesterday.
The whole morning was actually a sleepy one for me because of the anti-allergy medicine I take.
Now, I know I sound like a weakling but then I have always been dealing with allergies since young. I have had a nose that seem to run non-stop when the weather changes, go into a dusty environment, etc. Then in my late teens, I developed chronic urticaria that I continued to deal with today. As I got older, both of them always strikes simultaneously. Excessive work = hives. Eat wrong food = hives. Didn’t sleep well = hives. Exercise too hard = hives.
Compounding the problem is I’ve got acne outbreak every now and then. I even have keratosis pilaris on my arms, thighs and back. Those become worse when the hives strike again.
But I digress.
As I was saying, my morning yesterday was a sleepy one. Then came afternoon, it was no different. After lunch and a short nap, I felt better. At it got closer to evening, I was called to go down to site to deal with an issue with the application.
I told my team lead that I have to go by six because I have got an appointment with my friends. He said he hope the issue can be resolved before then. Separately, he asked if I could cancel or postpone the appointment. I told him no. It was a movie. Tickets already paid for. Then he said he could pay me back the money if I missed the movie. Then he went on to say my friends would be proud that I’m doing something related to the national day and won’t mind me being late.
Honestly, I doubt my friends would be proud of anything.
That aside, I’m actually quite pissed at that offer to pay me back if I missed the movie. It wasn’t so much about missing the movie but rather about missing the chance to meet up with my friends, whom I don’t see often because all of us are busy with different things. Who knows when we will meet up again.
You see, I treat meeting my friends as though it is the last time I will ever see them. That mindset and combine with the potential regret of not meeting up with them is simply enough for me to drop everything.
There was once when I had stomach flu then and was in a bad mood but nonetheless I still went and meet up with my best friend of twenty plus years. I also dropped everything to meet up with another friend for just a dinner just a few weeks ago.
So by offering to pay me back is like cheapening the whole thing. My friends don’t worth only $13 (the price of a movie ticket). They are priceless. The ones I care about, I will definitely be there for them in whatever capacity I can provide. If they want me to go eat dinner at the last minute, I will go. If they want me to accompany them to an event, I will go despite my reservation about crowds.
So if you ask me to choose between professionalism and friends, I choose my friends. And so I told my team lead that meeting up with my friends is very important to me, more than the national day celebration. Then I also said that there’s always a workaround for the issue he wanted me to resolve. It’s a matter of whether the user want to temporary use that workaround.
Yes, I know users are users. They will want to do things in a certain way. Everyone has their preferences. But the problem he wanted me to fix is potentially an implementation issue, at the code level. Combine with the fact that there is a code-freeze or deployment freeze, I don’t really see how we can fix it.
It took my colleague and I nearly an hour to figure out what’s going on. I realized that access checking function had an issue where it always return false when it had to deal with more than two groups assigned with resources.
Put it this way, I implemented both resource-based access control and role-based access control. Resources are assigned to groups, also known as resource groups. A user has to be given roles and resource groups in order to do anything meaningful in the application. And there was an issue with the resource-group checking.
And you know what, once we realized what’s going on, I hated myself so much. How can I be so careless to write an access checking function that looks right on first glance but don’t really work in runtime?
What about testing…
Well, as for testing, I admit, there wasn’t much because we were constantly being distracted by new tasks, new demands, etc. I have repeatedly said that I don’t do well when there’s too much going on. I really just can’t do it. It’s both my curse and blessing for I am a highly-sensitive person.
Anyway, we went ahead to delete data so that each resource is at max assigned to two resource groups. Then we got the tester to test everything again. When it works, I feel so much better.
After that, I went scrambling off from the place to catch a westbound train. Once I reached the mall, I went straight to queue up at the Japanese restaurant to get seats first while waiting for my friends to arrive.
During the dinner, we just catch up on stuff. After that, one of them left because he’s not joining us for movie. As for the movie, we watched The Meg.
I found the movie to be suspenseful enough and exciting. There were also parts that were funny.
I had hoped that it help to lighten my mood but it didn’t. Deep down, I was still feeling pissed on the way home. I even didn’t sleep well because of intense rumination. All kinds of scenarios were playing out in my head like movies. All the what ifs..