Explaining WTF Work to Non-Programmers



    • You write Visual J#
    • You use something resembling MUMPS
    • You customize a Synergistic End-To-End Enterprise Content Management Portal Solution
    • Your company has their own brilliant “framework”

    Wether it’s a WTF language, a WTF framework, or WTF policies, we can recognize a WTF from a mile away, and are quick to say so when we spot one. Non-programmers (our coworkers, managers, friends, spouses) often have a hard time understanding when we complain that things suck.

    So, I have been trying to come up with a way to relate to people with other jobs or hobbies exactly why a programming job might, indeed, suck. I think a big part of it is the fact that they can’t understand the types of tools we work with, and that bad tools are potentially the worst thing that could happen. Now, let’s have some poor metaphors, shall we?

    A graphic designer:

    Your editor wants you to assemble an entire magazine layout using Microsoft Paint, and a trial version of some rather questionable PDF software.

    A doctor:

    You’re a brilliant doctor working at a new hospital. The hospital gives you a pair of scissors and a roll of duct tape, and asks you why it’s taking so long to cure patients of everything from diabetes to cancer.

    A mechanic:

    You have worked on every kind of car imaginable, and have decades of experience, and your new job actually turns out to be changing oil with a pair of rusty needle-nose pliers. The pliers are mandated. No, you cannot bring other tools to work.



  • @djork said:

    A doctor:

    You’re a brilliant doctor working at a new hospital. The hospital gives you a pair of grade-school safety scissors and a roll of duct tape, and asks you why it’s taking so long to cure patients of everything from diabetes to cancer.

    Fixed that for you.  :)

    I'll have to see if I can come up with some other analogies.  Lawyer and airline pilot are kind of percolating right now...

     



  • How's this?

    Lawyer:

    Your client signed a written confession and was seen by multiple eyewitnesses leaving the scene of the murder with a large knife in hand.  You must prove his innocence using only the lead of a #2 pencil, a red magnet shaped like a horseshoe and a well-thumbed copy of Crime and Punishment.  If you fail, he will stab you to death in front of the entire courtroom.  The judge has already offered to loan him his letter opener.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    A teacher: 

    You're the best teacher the school's had, but a not insignificant proportion of the brats misbehave which distracts the other pupils. You are prevented from enforcing dicipline in children by threats of legal action both from the parents and the children themselves.

    Oh - you wanted metaphors, not what actually happens.

    Apologies. 



  • Project manager:

    PM's Boss: I need a project plan for the Internet and what we are doing about it, along with a SWOT analysis of tainted beef and its impact on the project plan.  I have a meeting with the shareholders at 3:00, so I need to review these by 2:58.  That gives you at least a solid hour to work on this.



  • @GalacticCowboy said:

    Project manager:

    PM's Boss: I need a project plan for the Internet and what we are doing about it ...

     

    Wow, that resulted in audible LULZ! 



  • McDonalds "chef":

     You are a competent burger flipper at McDonalds.  Ray Cro has been resurrected and is coming to the store.  He has called 2 hours in advance and he wants filet mignon.  You can only use the materials we already have, but to aid you in this task we have assigned to your charge 10 new people.  5 are from sales, 3 are managers but they don't know how to cook, and 2 of them have cooked at home before, but are unfamiliar with any of the equipment here.  Considering the challange of this you have also been assigned a team of 30 minimum wage bus boys and burger flippers who are in the next state over.  It is up to you to bring these people up to speed before begining your work on the filet.



  • Carpenter:



    You are asked to repair a house built entirely out of particle board and finishing nails, with the second floor overhanging every part of the first floor because the inhabitants needed extra room after the birth of their new baby. Of course they knew they were having a baby when the house was originally built, but they didn't expect the need for additional room after it was born. The inhabitants are complaining that they are getting wet when it rains; the Architect didn't bother building a roof because he never considered the possibility of bad weather. None of the doors have locks because the house began as a private abode that nobody else knew about, and security was too bothersome to implement because the inhabitants would have to remember to bring their keys. They didn't build a staircase either because there wasn't any place to put it on the first floor; they get to the second floor by climbing a ladder outside the house. The wiring consists of a half-unwound spool of cable in the living room leading to every outlet in the house, with jagged holes cut in the ceiling of the first floor to bring power to the second floor. The kitchen and the bathroom are one and the same because they both use water and the Architect thought it would be a neat idea to optimize them together.



    Naturally, your first instinct is to demolish the house and start over, but sadly this is not an option because the inhabitants feel they have invested too much money in it to give it up and they have no other place to raise their baby, whose increasing demands are difficult to fulfill with the current layout of the house. However, they can't invest any more into the house because of the baby's needs, so you have to work with the meager tools you brought with you plus whatever scraps are lying around the ground outside.



    Oh, and can you get it finished next week? The grandparents are coming in and the inhabitants would like to show off the new baby without the house causing any problems. If all goes well, the kid will get a nice investment into his college fund.



  • Builder or Carpenter

    Your clients want you to turn a one bedroom tar-paper shack into a 30,000 square foot "McMansion", complete with helipad and inbuilt Olympic size swimming pool.

    To that end they have equipped you with two rocks (one to hammer nails and one to cut wood), 939 used matches and a budget of $500. They expect a completed home by the end of the week. They will regularly attend the building site demanding changes and insisting that their 12 year old nephew would've completed it by now, using only 437 of the matches and costing only $138.76.



  • @Erick said:

    Carpenter:



    You are asked to repair a house built entirely out of particle board and finishing nails, with the second floor overhanging every part of the first floor because the inhabitants needed extra room after the birth of their new baby. Of course they knew they were having a baby when the house was originally built, but they didn't expect the need for additional room after it was born. The inhabitants are complaining that they are getting wet when it rains; the Architect didn't bother building a roof because he never considered the possibility of bad weather. None of the doors have locks because the house began as a private abode that nobody else knew about, and security was too bothersome to implement because the inhabitants would have to remember to bring their keys. They didn't build a staircase either because there wasn't any place to put it on the first floor; they get to the second floor by climbing a ladder outside the house. The wiring consists of a half-unwound spool of cable in the living room leading to every outlet in the house, with jagged holes cut in the ceiling of the first floor to bring power to the second floor. The kitchen and the bathroom are one and the same because they both use water and the Architect thought it would be a neat idea to optimize them together.



    Naturally, your first instinct is to demolish the house and start over, but sadly this is not an option because the inhabitants feel they have invested too much money in it to give it up and they have no other place to raise their baby, whose increasing demands are difficult to fulfill with the current layout of the house. However, they can't invest any more into the house because of the baby's needs, so you have to work with the meager tools you brought with you plus whatever scraps are lying around the ground outside.



    Oh, and can you get it finished next week? The grandparents are coming in and the inhabitants would like to show off the new baby without the house causing any problems. If all goes well, the kid will get a nice investment into his college fund.
     

    You, sir, are awesome.  I award you 10 points.  Feel free to pick them up at the information kiosk.



  • @bstorer said:

    @Erick said:
    Carpenter:
    You, sir, are awesome. I award you 10 points. Feel free to pick them up at the information kiosk.

    Seconded. Do you write for a living (yet)?



  • @magetoo said:

    Do you write for a living (yet)?

    Yes. C# and SQL.
    Thanks for the kind words. :)



  • Bus Driver:

    Every day you take your passengers on your regular route across the river. Part of the journey involves you carrying the bus on your back across a wobbly footbridge. There is a perfectly good bridge just beside it, which every other vehicle goes over. Your passengers don't even want to go across the river anyway. You have queried this with your manager on a number of occasions, but every time he stares at you blankly and asks what's wrong with the footbridge, before shuffling off to a meeting.



  • Skyscraper architect:

    A rich entrepreneur asks you to build a skyscraper for him with lights that shuffle, he shows you the Empire State Building, which he owns. He asks you what kind of skyscraper would be best suited for lights. You show him some examples from some skyscrapers in Tokio. He wants the skyscraper to be just as big as the Empire State. After some discussion it is decided that you will work with a team of other architects on the new skyscraper of new-super-modern design.

    The other architects have no experience building such skyscrapers, but they will have to learn. The rich entrepreneur bought a book on civil engineering for them, so they can design the skyscraper. After talking with the other architects, it turns they have no experience designing skycrapers at all. All they really did in the past, was building wooden houses in New Orleans, and painting friends houses. Also, there is no room for another skycraper in the part of Manhatten that the entrepreneur owns. So it is decided, that the Empire State will be outfitted with shuffling lights.

    You will have to talk of the architect who built the Empire State, which gives the detailed design plans of the Empire State for you to study. The plans reveal a very obscure design, the internals of the Empire State are built with plastic and bubblegum. The foundations are a couple of old subway trains stacked on top eachother. The other architects reveal to the Empire State architect that they want to rebuild the Empire State using the Japanese method of steel foundations. The architect disagrees, and says he doesn't support building with steel foundations. You also argue that the foundations are not very stable or extensible. The Empire State architect says you are correct, but there is no reason to implement a steel foundation.

    The Empire State architect is part of a special group that supports the paradigm of building skyscrapers with old trains, plastic and bubblegum. This group has agreed to train you and the other architects to built skyscrapers with plastic and bubblegum. After a few sessions of training, the architects you would be working with, refuse to go on, and you are left on your own.

    You argue, in order to support the new lights on the Empire State, you need to replace the old electrical system, which works by using dead rats tied to eachother as an electrical current transportation system. This system is troublesome, and outages in the building are not uncommon. The Empire State architect disagrees, and says you will need to fix the system instead of replacing it. However, you do replace it with conventional electrical wires, and the Empire State architect is amazed on how good it works.

    Meanwhile, the rich entrepreneur buys a lot of expensive cars, and bought 99 rolls royces. Also he takes trips to Paris, the Middle East and Hawaii. He is never there, and all the trips he and cars he buys, he books on the project budget.



  • Parent-to-be:

    Due to a change in hospital child-delivery targets, we have had to forwardly-optimise the schedule for your child's birth 6 months, from August to the 2nd week in March. Since we recognise that your project doesn't currently have the required womanpower to bring the deliverables to market in the required timeframe, we have retasked 15 other women to assist you in this endeavour.

    Since the project will be working at an accellerated pace, we will instead be requiring your status reports hourly, instead of weekly as previously. Which reminds me, didn't you get the memo about the new report cover sheet?



  •  Professional Chef:

    You are forced to prepare a banquet for 500 with rancid, month old, ingredients.  The owner continually adds new head chefs to the kitchen at the rate of 1 per hour.  Finally, 30 minutes before dinner service, Gordon Ramsay has just been hired to help improve kitchen morale.

     



  • Firefighter:

    Upon being bussed to the scene of a burning building, you are giving a circus clown-sized fire engine and a diuretic and told, "Make with the water, Clown boy!"



  •  <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">A Party Caterer:</font>

     
    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">You turn up to meet a prospective client expecting to have an initial discussion about the requirements for the food at an upcoming party.  </font>
     
    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">You arrive to find the party in full-swing and the prospective client is furious that you're late.  The client then hands you: five loaves, two fishes and a jug of water, and then demands enough food and wine to feed 5000, explaining that they know this is possible, because they read it's been done before.</font>


  • A Bank Manager.

     

    You are drafted in by your CEO to help opening a new city-centre "banking concept".

    You are told that the bank must be 100% secure, and allow no-one the opportunity to steal at any time, ever. No member of staff or customer is ever to be made aware of the amount of money held in the bank, or the balance of any account, for security reasons. All movements and activities within the bank, or near to the bank, or which could impact upon the bank in any way, must be recorded and stored.

    Customer convenience is paramount. Any customer must be able to access their money instantly, simply by walking along the street outside the bank and picking the money up from a pile. The CEO is also pioneering a cash delivery system, where a customer can phone the bank and have money delivered to wherever they currently are. The customer should not need to remember details such as the bank's phone number, nor should they be required to have a phone.

    The bank must be mobile.

    The CEO has already had the bank partially constructed by contractors, however these contractors have had no training in construction and have simply piled up many thousands of bricks in a heap on the street. Before work commences on the bank, you must assess each brick individually and determine which ones are in the wrong place, and by how far.

    You have three weeks and a staff consisting of one other bank managers and two builders. During the final week, you will be required to start working on a second bank, and one of the builders will be on holiday. The other bank manager believes they are overseeing this project, and will immediately cease work if they find out otherwise.

    All further communications regarding the bank's construction are to be handwritten, and delivered via mail. The CEO requires hourly status updates, and will be unable to accurately read your handwriting no matter how clearly you write.

    The success of this project is directly tied to your salary and future employment prospects.



  • Quality Assurance Technician at a Matchstick Factory

    You are told by your boss that you must personally guarantee that each and every matchstick the factory produces will light the first time by testing each match to destruction.  Absolutely no sampling will be allowed!

    After considering this request until cognitive dissonance kicks in, you begin to drink on the job and develop incipient pyromania.  Finally, you take to wandering around the factory in a dressing gown, posting on Internet forums about how much your job sucks and fielding replies that say, in equal parts:"Harden Up!", "Quit Already!", or "Burn the place down!"

     




  •  A Computer Helpdesk Call Center Operator

    ...'Nuff Said! 



  •  A Rodeo Clown or Bullfighter

    Your boss dresses you in a, two-sizes too small, red tutu, and completes the ensemble with a big red wig and and red a rubber nose.  You are given large, extra over-size, floppy clown shoes to wear and a target is painted on you, front and back. 

     Before going into the rodeo ring, your boss duct-tapes several live landmines onto you (all thoughtfully painted red).

    Finally, before the riderless bull enters the ring, it is beaten for 10 minutes with a length of barbwire, in order to "keep you on your toes". 



  •  A Beautician

    A singularly: large, overweight, hairy, smelly, and ugly individual enters your beauty parlour and in stridet tones demands, "a full-Brazillian!".

    Half-way through the horrid process, with wax and hair smeared all around the room, and your sanity in tatters, the individual demands to know exactly what you're doing and when their holiday to Rio will begin.



  • Airline pilot:

    You are told to stand in front of a fire exit off the side of a big building. 200 people exit the building and jump on your back. Your boss yells, "Flap." You must keep flapping, whilst simultaneously serving all those on your back refreshments.

     



  • Anesthesiologist or Anaesthetist:

    You boss, the head of the hospital, has hired you for your countless years experience in surgical anesthesiology.  You are looking forward to the new challenges of the job and ask to review the state-of-the-art toolset that you have been told about being you signed on.

    Your boss hands you a large wooden mallet and a compendium of Looney Tunes cartoons and tells you that a specialist of your calibre should have no trouble inflicting either "whirling stars" or "cheeping birds" on the patient, as required.

     



  • Al-Qaeda Operative:

    You are given a white flag with the word "BANG" spelled in large block letters, and told to run to the US Embassy waving the flag.



  • Optometrist:

    A man with a white cane walks in to your shop. He walks in to one display case, smashing hundreds of dollars worth of your stock. After taking him by the arm, and leading him to a chair, you ask him to read the chart over on the wall. He raises his cane, in the process delivering you a swift upward blow between the legs, and starts reciting random letters of the alphabet.

    Months later, you get a letter from his lawyer stating that his client can see no better than when he entered your shop, and, unless you rectify the situation at your cost, legal action would be following. 



  • On second thought, I should have stopped this one here@JoinedJustForThisThread said:

    Optometrist:

    A man with a white cane walks in to your shop...

     



  • Mechanic at a Wheel Alignment and Balancing Shop

    Fred Flintstone (in a page right out of history) scoots his cave-car into your shop...



  • Coal Miner

    Starting work down t'Pit every morning at the crack o' sparrow's.  Working for 28 hours each day.  Digging the whole day through with nought but a teaspoon.  Nothing but a dead canary for company.



  • Barman:

    You are working as 'senior barman' in a run-down location in the seediest part of town. Your clientele consists mostly of homeless winos coming in to spend the money collected off passers-by in the street, and 60 year old hookers who keep lifting their skirts to scratch their tits. The dishwasher is broken, but none of your clients seem to notice the dirty glasses. There is just one working light-bulb, but it seems to suit those who come in for a sleep during the winter days. You have a jukebox, and it does have a power supply, but it is stuck on one track (Spice Girls - Wannabe), and it won't turn off. The kitchen consists of a bench top gas fired stove, which the boss' son has appropriated to use for spotting weed with his mates.

    You have applied for many other positions, but most don't pay as well or require too much travel. With the skills learnt in barman's school (and off senior barmen in previous positions) slowly eroding due to lack of practice, your self confidence is deteriorating, and you make subtle but telling mistakes in the interviews for jobs that you would like.

    One day, the owner comes to you and says, "I was reading something in a magazine on the plane on the way back from conference regarding a grand new industry initiative in bars. Have you heard of CTs?" You do a mental acronym search, but can't come up with anything for CT that seems to make sense in this context.

    "No." 

    "CTs. You know, cocktails." You roll you eyes - knowing that cocktails are expensive, take a lot of time to set up the ingredients and cutlery required to make, are only appropriate in certain locations with a certain class of clientele, and are really only a way for the spirit manufacturers to sell more of their product and meet the aggressive sales targets (so that the CEO can appease Wall St) - and, just sadly nod.

    "Well, we are going to do that," says your boss. "I have already contacted a marketing company, and they have produced these lovely pamphlets, along with radio and TV advertising. Opening night is in two weeks. I need you to redecorate this place to bring it up to standard, get the ingrdients together to be able to mix these CTs, and redo the menu to make sure the food goes with these CTs. You have $320. Oh, and in your downtime, I want you to distribute these pamphlets under the window wiper of every car in the district."

    Despite obvious misgivings, you are reasonably pleased to be given such a challenge, and really get stuck in to it.  You work (unpaid) overtime putting things together.You get the dishwasher and the jukeboxworking, without getting electricians in. You paint the walls, put in light bulbs, and do your best to tidy up the dilapidated furniture. Come opening night, the place actually looks OK. You have even delivered most of the pamphlets. You rush around putting the finishing touches on everything. An hour before opening, your boss comes in the back door, "Give me a hand will you?"

    "I'm pretty busy getting ready for opening."

    "I know. This won't take a minute. I've got a pool table in the back of the truck. Can you just give me a hand bringing it in?"

    You didn't know he was getting a pool table. There isn't a place for a pool table. You need to get all the preparations finished. You tell him so.

    "No. We need a pool table. There was a write up about them in this month's issue of BarWorld. Come and give me a hand bringing it in."

    You protest more. He doesn't listen. In the meantime, nothing is getting done. You help him bring in the pool table. You get it as far as just in front of the bar, and he puts the pool table down. "This'll be great," he says. "See you in half an hour." And he leaves.

    You can't leave the pool table where it is - no-one can get to the bar for a CT (you curse yourself for using the acronym). You have nowhere to put it. And you have a bunch of stuff that still needed to be done before opening. But, most importantly, people need to get to the bar. So you go hard. Moving tables and chairs around, respacing everything to make room for the pool table. You go outside and kick one of the homeless drunks, and ask him if he will come and help you to move the table. You offer to pay him with a cheap bottle of wine. Thankfully, he agrees. You get the pool table moved - you give the wino his bottle, and you rush, doing all the other tasks that must be done.

    Ten minutes before opening, you are almost done, and the boss comes back in. He looks at what you have done. "Wow, that pool table looks great. What a great idea. I'm glad I did that. Don't you agree?" You mumble nothing in reply, and carry on. Your boss goes over to the pool table and sets up a game. You continue with your work.

    Five minutes later, your boss calls you over. "The balls are not rolling true," he says. "Can you just get that fixed for me, I have to go and straighten my toupée for before the patrons get here." You look at the table. The legs are not adjustable. You realise the reason that it is not level, is that the floor is not level. You call out to let him know. "Just do anything to get it working," he calls back. "Now." You spend the next 15 minutes placing books, coasters and bits of wood under the table legs to get it flat. It's not pretty, but it seems to work. You rush around, finishing the last "must-do" tasks.

    Finally, only 20 minutes late, you open the doors. No-one comes in. After a little while, a couple of regulars come in, take one look at the place, and walk straight out again. Eventually, a few people start to drift by. They have all brought their pamphlets with them. For the first time, you notice that the pamphlets are a voucher for "First Cocktail Free" (you smile to yourself that at least your boss didn't use the acronym on the pamphlet). You serve drinks fairly solidly for the next 2 hours, but have still not received any money from a single paying patron. You raise the issue with your boss. "Never mind," he says. "I have a contingency plan"

    About an hour later, a large group of young ladies enters the bar. Evidentally, this is not the first bar they have been to tonight. "My contingency has arrived," announces your boss. "A friend from the country club. His niece's bachelorette party." Your boss gets each of the ladies a free drink (even though they didn't bring pamphlets), helps himself to a large brandy, and goes and sits with them. He servers the ladies all night, and you notice him doing his best flirting (not easy with the beer belly and the toupée, but he is trying). He also keeps the ladies' glasses topped up, all with no money changing hands.

    Eventually, closing time comes. Everyone starts to leave. You begin the clean-up, and total the register. Takings all night: $27.38. Tips: $3.72. You finish cleaning, pick up your boss from where he has fallen asleep in the corner, and take him home. Finally, just as the sun is rising, you fall wearily in to bed.

    The next day you turn up at the bar to find someone already there with your boss. Your boss introduces him, "This is Andy. We didn't make a profit last night, even though all the analysts suggested that CTs were the way to go. Andy is a consultant and world renowned expert in CTs. He is here to do a review of our implementation. Pick up any areas we went wrong, make recommendations for the future, etc. I have given Andy an outline of what we have done, but please give him any assistance he requires over the course of the day."

    You spend the next three hours with Andy, explaining to him the events of the last two weeks. If nothing else, it feels good to have someone who understands to talk to. Finally, the bar opens, and you go back to work.

    A couple of hours later, the boss calls you in to his office. Andy is there. There is a report on your boss' desk. "Andy has compiled a report of events, and it makes very interesting reading," your boss begins. "It seems that the root cause of the failure last night, was that you did not deliver all the pamphlets. Andy has recommended an organisation restructure, and there is no longer a role for a 'senior barman'. Your position is redundant. Effective immediately"

    You wander out, dazed and confused...



  • @slayd said:

    Coal Miner

    Starting work down t'Pit every morning at the crack o' sparrow's.  Working for 28 hours each day.  Digging the whole day through with nought but a teaspoon.  Nothing but a dead canary for company.

     

    Sheer luxury! 



  • @JoinedJustForThisThread said:

    Barman:

    You are working as 'senior barman' in a run-down location in the seediest part of town. [...]

    You wander out, dazed and confused...

     

     

    The acid in the bile of this comment has eaten holes in my monitor

    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">o    ..                  OO</font>

    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">O .     O   :</font>
    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">o..:</font>
    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">O                 O::O     O  O      O ..              OO                   Oooo</font>
    <font color="#0000ff" face="Arial" size="2">o:</font>
     

     



  • OK I've got one.  You've been tasked with developing a replacement to an antiquated 1968 Ford Mustang.  Your boss has "the basic skeleton" done; it's a cute little skateboard.  Your job is to figure out "what's missing" from the skateboard, and enhance it until it can take the place of the Mustang.



  • @KludgeQueen said:

    OK I've got one.  You've been tasked with developing a replacement to an antiquated 1968 Ford Mustang.  Your boss has "the basic skeleton" done; it's a cute little skateboard.  Your job is to figure out "what's missing" from the skateboard, and enhance it until it can take the place of the Mustang.

     

    You are given a rusted-out 68 Mustang for parts and are tasked with turning it into a Gulfstream 100 with the help of a Saab 900 turbo repair manual because "Those guys [Saab] made cars from planes so why can't we make planes from cars?".



  • Another airline pilot:

    You are in Chicago.  It is snowing.  Hard.  There are already 10 inches of snow on the ground, and another 10 are predicted over the next few hours.  It is now 2 AM, and your flight was due to leave nearly 8 hours ago.  The airport is closed, but all of your passengers are still waiting for their flight.  The mood is ugly.  One large guy, who has been at the concourse bar for most of the evening, keeps drunkenly reminding everyone "If we'd just left on schedule, we'd be in Cancun by now!  No snow there!"  A senior representative from the airline finally arrives and reviews the situation.  He then hands you the keys to a shiny Greyhound bus parked just outside the terminal and commands you to make sure these people all get to Cancun as fast as possible - and you need to find and load their luggage as well.



  • Another Mechanic:

    Your garage specializes in modifying cars from manufacturer X and
    reselling them as your own brand Y. The cars from X are held together
    with bizarre non-standard screw and bolt heads. None of your
    high-quality tools an training work when taking things apart or bolting
    on new components. Replacing the fasteners with standard ones is
    against the contract you have with X.

    As the cars come from the factory you have to stop the car, turn off the engine, open the hood, and select a new gear by hand directly on the transmission itself, and then start the engine again to use your newly selected gear.

    One day you spend an hour or two and come up with a great little mod that allows you to shift gears from inside the car... you call it a "stick shift" and try to explain how it just takes one tiny hole to run the selector rod through, one secured bolt on the transmission, and the rest of the parts lie completely within the cabin (and are strictly an optional add-on!).

    This is viewed as a dangerous "maverick" move, and one that must have taken an inexcusable amount of "free time" to complete. Even though you don't have to sell the option to customers, it would make test-driving the cars unmeasurably easier... but still...

    "Changing gears while driving? That's not necessary. Stop wasting time fooling around."

    "That bolt under the hood could fly off and wreck the entire car!"

    You never try to improve the design of the car again.

     



  • Gas Installation Inspector:

    Memo From Corporate Headquarters:

    It has come to our attention, that some gas installations have been inspected and approved with gas leaking. It is clear to us, tha, while no single person is responsible, the process by which we are checking for gas leaks needs to be adjusted. We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that process compliance is mandator, with non-compliance invoking dismissal procedures.

    Effective immediately, Section 437, Sub Section 212, Paragraph XXVII, Sub Paragraph (e), Line (xiv) will be altered to read:

    "Take you book of matches, and strike one. Move the lit match along the pipes, and around all connection points. If there is no explosion, then the installation is leaf-free"

    Sincerely

    Management 



  • I SIR WILL BEAT HIS 10 POINTS,  AND IF YOU WILL LISTEN I WILL TELL YOU HOW,

     

    UP UNTIL RECENTLY I WAS EMPLOYED BY MY UNCLE, THE GREAT KING OF NOWHERELAND. KNOWING THAT SOME PEOPLE HAD STOLEN HIS CAPS-LOCK AND SHIFT KEY, HE FEARED FOR HIS LIFE AND BURIED THEM IN...

     

    I FOUND HIS CAPS-LOCK KEY AND AM FOREVER IN FEAR OF LETTING GO OF IT. HOWEVER, I WILL WILLINGLY EXCHANGE THE KEY FOR THE SUM OF $10,000,000.

     

    YOUR GOOD FRIEND

     

    DR. NIGEL HOWELL

     

    /419scam 



  • Oh, oh, me, me... I'd like a nice shiny shift key!

    Where do I send the  10,000,000 Zimbabwean dollars to??!?

    I'm sure I can organise a group of investors willing to contribute the required funding.



  • Ship's Captain:

    (System Adminstrator metaphor)

    At the job interview, you are told that this is the greatest ship ever built. She is bigger, stronger and faster than anything in the water before her. Not only that, butinnovative desing, and advances in technology, mean that she is the safest ship ever. She is practically unsinkable. Well, at least, she will be when she is built - we are just in the final stage of preparation for launch now. You job will be to manage the hand-over fromconstruction to launch, and then steer the ship on it's maiden voyage across the atlantic. With such a beauty, we need someone with exceptional skill and experience to look after her.

    You accept the job because you like the idea of such an exceptional ship (and to be honest, you are a little flattered that they think you are good enough to do the job).

    On you first day, you wander around the dock, looking at progress. You notice a few design flaws (eg, not enough lifeboats). You raise these design flaws with potential solutions (eg, add more lifeboats) to the designer, and he agrees. You take the solutions to management. Management reject all suggestions, either for aesthetic reasons (eg, the deck will not look so nice with so many lifeboats), or for financial/time reasons (eg, we are already way over budget and time, we need to just get this thing out there making money).

    Eventually all work is completed (sans your improvements), and the ship is launched. And what a beauty she is. Much fanfare ensues.

    On her maiden voyage, things are going well. The passengers are enjoying her luxury. You are breaking in her engines nicely. The weather is clear. You are beating the competition in to New York. Everything is superb.

    You are awoken very early one morning. "Sir, she has hit an iceberg, we are sinking."

    For some reason, the impossible has happened. Whether through an organisational flaw (eg, the lookouts in the crow's nest were not warm enough to see the iceberg), a construction flaw (eg, perhaps the wrong rivets were used), a design flaw (eg, allowing a breach of several compartments), or some combination of all possiblilties, the greatest ship the world has ever known is sinking. The management, designers and builders are all safely on shore on London, supping chardonnay and slapping themselves on the back for a job well done old chap.

    You look out from the bridge at the chaos that ensue. Most of the lifeboats have been launched, and there are still hundreds of people on board. You resign yourself to your fate. As captain, despite it being no fault of your own, your responsibility is to go down with the sinking ship.



  • Speaking of ships...

    CAPTAINS LOG, STARDATE 1567001
    Stopped off back at Earth to refuel. Paid a visit to my Irish cousin Seamus O'Kirk, who runs the largest internal combustion engine business in this part of the galaxy. He mentioned that he's now selling so many engines that he can afford to completely undercut all competition.

    CAPTAINS LOG, STARDATE 1567002
    Took Seamus for a visit of the Enterprise. He had a good time poking around in the engine room. He brought one of his top sales guys with him, very entertaining chappie, gave me a copy of their latest brochure. Later: read it while sitting on the bog, fascinating stuff, seems internal combustion is making a comeback.

    CAPTAINS LOG, STARDATE 1567003
    Bought 30,000 internal combustion engines off Seamus, we can replace our warp drive with them and save 90% in operational costs. Didn't bother telling Scotty.

    CAPTAINS LOG, STARDATE 1567028
    Orbiting an unknown planet several thousand lightyears from anywhere remotely civilized. Klingons on the starboard bow. Out of petrol. I've given Scotty half an hour to get us out of this mess, or he's out the airlock without a spacesuit. No sympathy for these tech guys, why can't they just quit complaining and get on with the job?



  • @djork said:

    So, I have been trying to come up with a way to relate to people with other jobs
    or hobbies exactly why a programming job might, indeed, suck.
     

     I simply gave up about six months after starting my job. All my explanations are met with some type of response based on a variation of "but you work at a COMPUTER all day, how hard could your job be?"

    Ironically enough, very few of my friends are computer geeks. At least they understand... 



  • @LieutenantFrost said:

    "but you work at a COMPUTER all day, how hard could your job be?"

    My immediate thought for a response: "Could you do YOUR job at a computer?"

    That's how hard it could be.



  • Ok, fine and well, but when will the mere mortals realize that being a programmer does not involve knowing Microsoft Office features???!!

    Drives me nuts!



  • @Ice^^Heat said:

    Ok, fine and well, but when will the mere mortals realize that being a programmer does not involve knowing Microsoft Office features???!! Drives me nuts!

    ... What's worse is when they implicitly blame you for some crazy feature of Microsoft Office.  Ever had to reply with "well, don't yell at me, I didn't write this code!" ?



  • I guess it has to do with being an "allround" "IT" "guy".

    Despite all that, many people just don't seem to grasp the very concept. They just don't have a clue... However, I do have certain idea, a certain clue of what might be involved in other human disciplines. For instance, when you build an airplane you have to deal with all kinds of forces like aerodynamics, push and pull and so on. When you build a building, you are also dealing with forces like pressure. When you are a social worker, you need a certain insight into emotions and so on, telling your patient he is a worthless piece of scum will probably not help to achieve your goal as a social worker. When you are a salesman, you need to present yourself and your product well. When you are a chirgeon, you need to be very carefull where you cut, as you might sever the main atery.

    Now I know all of these things, because I watch discovery channel. I have a slight clue of what might be involved. Probably most people do.

    But when it comes to programming, people react like: "Did you type all that??!"

    It is like asking a chirgeon: "Did you cut all that?? Wow you got into that body??"

    Or telling an engineer at boeing: "Wow, I didn't know that a big square block of concrete couldn't fly."



  • @KludgeQueen said:

    @Ice^^Heat said:

    Ok, fine and well, but when will the mere mortals realize that being a programmer does not involve knowing Microsoft Office features???!! Drives me nuts!

    ... What's worse is when they implicitly blame you for some crazy feature of Microsoft Office.  Ever had to reply with "well, don't yell at me, I didn't write this code!" ?

    Been there, done that. I have also often had to tell them that "you've been on a course, you know more about Word/Excel/Powerpoint/Outlook than I do".


  • @mfah said:

    Been there, done that. I have also often had to tell them that "you've been on a course, you know more about Word/Excel/Powerpoint/Outlook than I do".
     

    Office isn't that bad. There's at least a reasonable chance that we've at least used Office at some point (In fact going on course = useless. I was forced onto an Office course some years ago, and ended up teaching the teacher). It's when you're expected to intimately know every detail about Joe Random's Squiggle Widget V4.53 because, well, "it's all just computers, isn't it, and you're a computer guy".



  • @RayS said:

    Office isn't that bad.


    Until they try to do something sexy with it... (you've already filled in the rest yourself!)


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