Author Topic: In the early days  (Read 1301 times)


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In the early days
« on: Sunday 2015-March-29 02:47:35 PM »
In my early days I rented a storage unit from a self storage company
in Reading UK and signed an agreement so I could use the unit as a
'work shop'. From my point of view, this was only intended to be a
temporary arrangement but I worked from that cold, noisy, insect and
rodent ridden metal hole for ten years and I would still be there too
if ... [1] 

Based on conversations I had with the staff who sat on that facility's
reception, I came up with my first Android application idea which
calculates the size of a self storage unit based on the contents of
the user's house.

Being able to ask (Steve [on reception]) opinions and advice about the
basic methods they use to calculate a customer's self storage unit
size, was extremely useful.

It took a year to complete mostly because this was my first Android

It has gone through many iterations.

I created a Java Applet that does the same thing which took about two
months and then rewrote the Android application based on what I
learned from the Java Applet.


The manager of the self storage facility was stealing.

I reported his thieving to the self storage company's head office who
then counter accused me of doing something that breached my rental
contract with them.

That-manager also tried to get his own back by using Google Play to
give my 'Self Storage Unit Size Calculator' Android app an one star
review along with a derogatory comment.

I told the storage company head office about this but their response
was to threatened me with prosecution for spoiling their reputation (I
still have their threatening e-mails).

That-manager's one star review and comment was instantly removed,
presumably because of pressure from head office.

Eventually a head-office-bloke came to seem me. He told me his name
but claimed he didn't have a business card (when I asked for one).

The head-office-bloke proceeded to accuse me of 'sleeping in a chair'
which was against their rules and therefore I should leave.

This was their counter argument to me-telling-them that one of their
managers is not only stealing from them but also stealing from their
customers (and the rest of it [2]).

I suggested that we both (me and head-office-bloke) go downstairs and
speak to a customer I knew that-manager had stolen from, (that
customer had told me about the theft). The head-office-bloke said he
didn't want to do that.

I *recorded* this conversation between me and head-office-bloke and
because I knew my tape recorder was recording, I prompted him to
answer the following questions:

- do you think that-manager's thieving from your company is a problem?
:: he replied: no

- do you think that-manager's thieving from your customers is a
problem? :: he replied: no

- your manager give my application an one star review on Google Play
and a derogatory comment, because I reported him for thieving; do you
see that as a problem :: he replied: 'he removed it when we told him
to so no'

My instinct to have a tape recorder, batteries charged and readily at
hand, proved wise I think.


The rest of it:

- recreational-drug storage

- entering customer storage units because a customer has forgotten to
lock their storage unit door

I believe I witnessed these activities simply because I spent most of
my life their, drinking coffee and coding. I became part of the
furniture. This meant that-manager and a few of his staff became
complacent with what they did and what they said when I was near by.

For example: If I ever notice that any-customer had forgotten to lock
their unit, I would tell the staff at the front-desk about it so they
could contact the customer who could come back to their unit and
properly lock their door; customers use their own padlocks.

Then I saw what that-manager and his staff did with that information:

- the staff clicks a check-box on their computer desktop which turns
that storage unit's alarm off

- one or more of the staff then open that unlocked-unit to explore its
contents without the logs showing that the door has been opened,
because they just turned the alarm off