March 14, 2012

Why It's Not Smart To Fake Test Results

Of course the six years I blow off my test results, this happens

Hundreds, or even thousands, of drunk driving convictions could be overturned because the San Francisco Police Department had not properly tested its breathalyzers recently: copyrightjoestrazzere
  • hundreds of drunk-driving convictions in San Francisco could be tossed out
  • did not properly maintain and calibrate their 20 breath analyzer machines
  • sensors have not been properly maintained since at least 2006
  • supposed to test these devices every 10 days
  • didn’t bother to test or calibrate the equipment, instead simply entering the suggested control values into the test results
  • logs show page after page of columns with the same result when there should have been a difference
  • the coordinators were apparently just too lazy to perform the test required every 10 days

This reminds me of an episode in the television series The Office. Dunder Mifflin Scranton's Director of Quality Assurance Creed Bratton is shown to have neglected his duties.

Reams of paper containing an obscene watermark depicting "the image of a beloved cartoon duck performing unspeakable acts upon a certain cartoon mouse that a lot of people like" are shipped to customers.

Creed's reply: "Every week I’m supposed to take four hours and do a quality spot check at the paper mill. And of course the one year I blow it off, this happens."

See also:

This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
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  1. Of course if you know Creed, that was a lie. There is no way he ever spent any time at the paper mill. :)