Transcript of a real teleconference



  • This is for real.

    The cast:
      Hatshepsut (The Patsy)
      The client (The Audience)
      Other subcontractors, govt review team (The Cavalcade of Clowns)

    The scene:
      An office with a telephone.  Attached to the telephone is Hatshepsut, a
    humble engineer: The Patsy.
      We find him 15 minutes into a teleconference with The Cavalcade of
    Clowns, with The Audience listening politely.  There have been some
    problems getting started, but now everyone is ready to proceed.

    Clown 1 (reveiwer):  So, if we look at the first page of the
    spreadsheet, we can start with the high priority items.
    Hatshepsut:  Where is the priority marked?
    C1: In the Priority column.
    H: Where is that?
    C1: On the right.
    H: Not on my copy.  What column?
    C1: Column G.
    H: My column G is blank.  My spreadsheet is named as version four point
    zero - is that the latest version?
    C1: Yes, version four.  We updated the original version by adding a
    priority column and colours.
    H: Hmm.  Version four point zero.
    C1: Yep.
    H: OK, there's something odd here - can you email me the version you're
    looking at?  Just to be sure.
    C1: Sure thing. <click>
    H: <click> <pause> <frown> <squint> <slight twitch of brow> I think I
    see the problem.  The version I was looking at was named "_v4.0".  This
    updated version is named "_v4 0". Four space zero.
    C1: <pause> OK, now we've got the right version...
    Clown 2 (Tim): I have a question.
    C1: Yes?
    C2: In the email you sent there's a second spreadsheet called 'XYZ
    Documentation Review'.  I have never seen that before, and I need time
    to review it and respond before we can...
    C1: Oh, that wasn't meant to be included - we can forget about that
    one.  Now, if we look at...
    C2: But what documentation is it referring to?  How do I know what
    documentation was reviewed?
    C1: That spreadsheet was distributed by accident.  It's not important today.
    C2: I need to know what documentation it refers to, because I can't
    respond to it unless...
    H: Tim, I think that spreadsheet can just be ignored.  It's not
    relevant to today's call, and we can imagine it doesn't exist.
    C2: Oh, OK.  Because if we have to respond to it we have to know what
    documentation it's referring to.  We can't...
    C1: OK, if we look at the high priority items...
    C2: Oh, which table are we looking at?
    C1: Our comments.  First sheet.
    C2: Oh, and our responses?  We provided you with responses.
    C1: Ah yes, they're in another spreadsheet.  Has everyone got that?
    C2: You already have them - I sent our consolidated responses on July 12.
    C1: Yes.  Does everybody have that spreadsheet?
    H: I've got a Word document with a table in it, from an email Tim
    sent on July 12.  "XYZ_comment_Response.doc", no version.  Is that it?
    C1: They're in a spreadsheet.
    H: OK, I must have a draft or something, because mine's a Word doc with
    a table in it.
    C1: What's in the table?
    H: Erm, heading 'XYZ_Report_v0.4', then a table with some header
    rows and the first main row is 'Cyclomatic Complexity', with some
    comments and responses.
    C1: Yeah that's it. So, if we...
    H: Sorry, just to make sure we're all working from the same version, can
    you send me the spreadsheet?
    C1: Tim, can you send that?
    C2: I already sent that to everyone on July 12.
    H: Yes, but can you re-send it now, just to ensure we're all looking at
    the same thing?
    C2: I already sent that to everyone on July 12.
    Clown 3: Tim, can you please just send it again?
    C2: To everyone? I already...
    C3: Yes to everyone. Again.
    C2. Oh, OK. <click>
    H: (aside) Hmm.  Guess what's going to be in
    this email.  I'm betting myself 20 euros...  <Balances 20 euro note on
    monitor.>
    H: <click> <pause> <smirk> <slight twitch of brow> <grin> YOU LITTLE
    RIPPER!! <Grabs 20 off monitor, gleefully pockets it> <click> <Opens
    attached word doc, looks at table within.>
    Audience: <muffled giggling>
    H: Right, I think we're on the right track now.
    C1: OK, so if we...
    C2: I have a question.
    C1: Yes?
    C2: This spreadsheet called 'SQA Documentation Review'.  How can I
    respond to it if I don't know what documents it's referring to?
    ...
    [For reasons of space, the editors have deleted the remainder. Poorly
    suppressed giggles can be heard from the Audience, and sounds of
    creaking doors, shuffling feet, water-squirting lapel flowers and
    comical air horns can be heard emanating from various members of the
    Cavalcade. You get the idea.]
    ...
    [etc etc ad nauseam]
    ...
    [45 minute teleconf - the final 15 minutes of which are occupied trying
    to reschedule the call for the following day.]



  • That sounds familiar... was I on that call?



  • TYPICAL

    Such a waste of time 



  • Clown 2 must be the funniest person on the face of the planet!!!! Killing me!!! 

    @Hatshepsut said:


    C2: In the email you sent there's a second spreadsheet called 'XYZ
    Documentation Review'.  I have never seen that before, and I need time
    to review it and respond before we can...

    C2: But what documentation is it referring to?  How do I know what
    documentation was reviewed?

    C2: I need to know what documentation it refers to, because I can't
    respond to it unless...

    C2: Oh, OK.  Because if we have to respond to it we have to know what
    documentation it's referring to.  We can't...

    OMG!!! It's like one of those great Simpson's characters that repeat the same catchphrase over and over and it NEVER stops being funny!!!

    Tim? Comedy genius!!! Is it Tim Conway?

    @Hatshepsut said:


    C2: You already have them - I sent our consolidated responses on July 12.

    C2: I already sent that to everyone on July 12.

    C2: I already sent that to everyone on July 12.

    C2: This spreadsheet called 'SQA Documentation Review'.  How can I
    respond to it if I don't know what documents it's referring to?

    Ouch! I think I pulled something from laughing so hard!!!



  • @jpaull said:

    [orange text]

    ur so funny.

    How does a person (C2) has such a tenuous grasp on reality? I mean, as it unfolds before him?



  • Copious amounts of drugs.  Or stupidity on a grand scale.



  • 15 minutes to schedule another 45 minutes of chaos for the next day?



  • Sounds like they could have got a lot more done by replacing clown 2 with a trained monkey.



  • The real time waster is the fool who made a spreadsheet named "Something_v4.0" and another, different spreadsheet named "Something_v4 0". Were they actually going out their way to create confusion? That person should never be allowed to name a file again, and should be permanently babysat at all times by someone who has experience in document management.



  • @VGR said:

    The real time waster is the fool who made a spreadsheet named "Something_v4.0" and another, different spreadsheet named "Something_v4 0". Were they actually going out their way to create confusion? That person should never be allowed to name a file again, and should be permanently babysat at all times by someone who has experience in document management.

    Seems like a typical instance of the Creative Versioning System...

    But I wonder how something possibly came up with a "v4<space>0" notation. What comes next? v4҈0?


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