I'm driving into the office two hour earlier than usual because I have to participate in some interoperability testing. I pull onto I-95 and get into the inside lane as I usually do. Traffic is a bit thick, but it's flowing albeit a bit slower than I'm used to.
A few miles down the road, I see a state trooper giving a ticket. They got pulled over for speeding? I think to myself. At best traffic is moving at the posted speed limit. I keep driving.
A few miles further down, and again, off to the side are three unmarked state troopers, just sitting there. I know they're unmarked state troopers because each vehicle has red and blue lights mounted inside the windows. And to further hide the fact that they're unmarked state troopers, all the lights on all three vehicles are flashing. How odd, I think to myself. They pulled each other over?
About two miles short of the exit, I noticed that the other three lanes of traffic are significantly crowded, yet the inside lane I'm in is relatively free of cars. Not so free that I can zip down the interstate at a hundred and eight, but enough that I'm making excellent time compared to the cars in the other three lanes of traffic.
It's then I had an epiphany: I bet I'm in the HOV lane, I thought, just as I passed under the “HOV Lane, 7:00am—9:00am 4:00pm—6:00pm” sign.
So we're doing interoperability testing of “Project: Sippy-Cup” with two companies so far, Company-A and Company-E. Basically, it's testing to see if we accept their requests and they accept our replies and we're all on the same page as far as interpreting the results and what have you. And today isn't the first day we've done such testing—this is about the third or fourth time so far.
“Those responses are odd.”
“No wonder—you aren't sending the right phone numbers!”
“But we're sending 555-555-9901!”
“What? I thought it was 555-555-0001!”
“That's so yesterday! Didn't you get the memo outlining the new numbers to use?”
“But we're using 555-555-9901.”
“Okay, let me make that change … okay, we're now using 555-555-9901.”
“Didn't you get the memo? We're using 555-555-4492.”
“But you were just—”
“No wait! New memo came in! Can you change the number of 555-555-2234?”
“Probably not before you change it again, but I can try … ”
And each time, the phone numbers used for testing have changed. Every. Single. Time. It seems as if Company-A and Company-E are incapable of using the same phone numbers for testing for more than 24 hours.