What RST made me do

It’s 1:11am now and I can’t sleep before I tell you this story.

After our RST course was over for the day, me, my boss Oliver from CH, Raimond from EMT and two nice girls from Ixonos went out for a couple of drinks at a nearby pub. We talked about my being in military service, about cars (Raimond likes his Mercedes-Benz 300 CE) and of course mostly about testing. Oliver ran the girls through some great exercises where they had to come to a complete understanding of a strange situation by only asking yes/no questions; they caught on pretty quickly.

Meanwhile, being familiar with the exercises myself, I started looking for anything to test that I could find. I finally ended up with a small print-out of drinks offered at the pub that looked like this (it’s in estonian and I will not translate it… on purpose):
!– print-out starts here –!
OKTOOBRIKUU ERIPAKKUMISED
KLIENDIKAARDI OMANIKELE:

Enne /Nüüd
Õlu saku Kuld 0,5l            37.-/ 25.-/1,60€
Õlu Paulaner 0,5l              45.-/ 32.-/ 2,05€
OKTOBERFEST
Õlu Foster’s 0,33l             35.-/ 25.-/ 1,60€
Brändi F.de Castilla 4cl    40.-/28.-/1,79€
Siider Ecusson 75cl           90.-/63.-/4,03€
Liköör Vana Tallinn 4cl    40.-/28.-/1,79€
Kakao Minttuga                 65.-/46.-/2,94€
VEINID:
Pasqua Vigneti 75cl         180.-/126.-/8,05€
Pinot – Chardonnay Frizzante Rose (Itaalia)
Golden Kaan 75cl             265.-/186.-/11,90€
Pinotage Rose (Lõuna – Aafrika)
Le Belle 75cl                      275.-/193.-/12,30€
Rosè d’ Anjou (Prantsusmaa)
Bigi EST! EST! EST!        265.-/186.-/11,90€
Di Montefiascone (Itaalia)
Bigi Vipra 75cl                   270.-/189.-/12,10€
Bianca Umbria/ Rossa Umbria (Itaalia)
Rey de los Andes 75cl      255.-/158.-/10,10€
Cabernet Sauvignon/ Sauvignon Blanc (Tšiili)

Soodustus laieneb ka kokteilidele,
mis nimetatud tooteid sisaldavad!

    KUI SUL VEEL KLIENDIKAARTI EI OLE, KÜSI TAOTLUS
    TEENINDAJALT NING KAARDI SAAD KÄTTE KOHE!

TÄHELEPANU! Tegemist on alkoholiga.
Alkohol võib kahjustada Teie tervist

!– print-out ends here –!

The formatting got messed up because of the blog environment, but otherwise, this is exactly what it looked like.
Now get this: I thought I had read it through at least 3 times, before I even got the idea to test it. After I actually tested it, I found 9 bugs on this page alone. The funny thing is… one of the more prominent topics covered today was Inattentional blindness.

Here are the bugs I found, in order of discovery (I left out the more boring formatting bugs):

1) At the end of the very last line, there is no punctuation mark. This was just something I expected to find.
Oracle: Consistency with itself. The line before that did have a punctuation mark.

2) At line 6, between Paulaner and Foster’s there is a capitalized OKTOBERFEST. What the hell is it doing there?
Oracle: Suprise/Completely out of place/WTF?

3) Line 11, Kakao Minttuga (Hot chocolate with Minttu) doesn’t specify how much minttu (a mint-taste spirit) you get. It later turned out to be just 2cl, not 4cl like the rest of the list.
Oracle: Other things on the list specify the amount.

4) All the prices. Prices are given in Estonian Kroon’s (EEK in short) and in Euros. However, EEK’s are never mentioned. Although it is normal in Estonia to use a notation like 45.- (which means 45.00, which in turn is supposed to say 45 EEK’s and 0 cents), it does not seem very consistent with itself (Oracle right here).

5) Line 12. This is a header announcing wines! Where is the first one about beer? (The presence of the second is the oracle for the absence of the first)

6) The prices again. This is the big one I was staring at all along but didn’t bother to check. Why? Because I wasn’t really interested in the prices since I was drinking dr. pepper that night, which was not on that print-out. So get this: hopefully you noticed, that there are two prices in EEK. This is because the whole print-out is actually about a discount you get when you have the membership card of the pub. However, the prices given in euros are actually the discount prices for cardholders! There is no way for a foreigner to understand that when he orders a beer based on the cost in euros, he actually has to pay more! This is a critical bug! But it was the last thing I checked, because I wasn’t really interested in buying these drinks, about the how much it cost in euros and also the fact that I expected it to show the normal price all along.
Oracle: Moral guidance, statutes (if I understood my law student girlfriend correctly, the pub may not charge you more for the drink than what you expected to be charged based on what you saw on the print-out).

So these were the more interesting bugs I found.
Today I discovered that everything must be questioned. EVERYTHING. Even a tiny little helpful-looking print-out can be full of lies and deceit. And the worst (and also, the greatest most interesting) part is that you have to look really close and learn to focus and defocus your thinking in order not to be fooled.

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