It's many moons ago and, with an upgrade to the company's online transaction processing system due shortly, this pilot fish is tasked with checking over the most recent revisions to the system's user manual.

"I was also asked to double-check the actual programs that accessed the OLTP system, to verify that they did what the manual told the users they would do," says fish.

"I found not one but two transactions that were not just described inaccurately in the manual, but were 100 percent different from everything the manual said about them.

"That manual had been in users' hands for at least four years before the upcoming upgrade to the system had prompted the revisions. When I double-checked, I found that those two transactions both had fairly high use counts in the production system -- yet no one had ever complained that the user manual was just plain wrong about what they did.

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