One time, I was working on a big project, and the boss asked me when it would be finished. I said it would be finished in April. He stated that it had to be done by February, or we'd miss the market window. He told me to write down on the board everything I'd need to get it done by February. I put down a bunch of stuff: hardware, test equipment, resources, and so forth. Pretty much filled up the board. He barely glanced at it, and said "Okay, you can have all that stuff. Now can you promise to have it done by February?" I grinned evilly and said "Sure!" Then he said "Okay, we'll have a weekly progress meeting..." whereupon I interrupted him, and pointed to "NO MEETINGS" in my list of requirements. He started complaining that he wouldn't know if we were on schedule without meetings. I pointed out that it was my requirement to meet the schedule, and wasn't my promise worth anything? If so, then the meeting weren't needed. If the meetings were needed to monitor things, why did he try to get me to promise a schedule? "The schedule is: I finish it by February. No meetings needed." He wasn't satisfied, and stomped off in a huff.

Several days later, he came to me, chuckling. He'd just gotten the new roll-out schedule from the government. They wouldn't be ready before April.

I used to work for a computer company, and one of our customers in Jacksonville called to say our computer couldn't communicate with any of the other computers on base. The company dutifully flew me down there to troubleshoot in person. I did some tests on our computer, and everything checked out, but sure enough, it couldn't talk to any of the other computers. I asked the folks there if the other computers could talk to each other. Nope, nobody was talking to anybody. Was it possible the other computers were all broken? I asked if I could get access to the other computers. They said it was okay, and I logged in to one of them to investigate. It was misconfigured, so I reconfigured it. Sure enough, it could then talk to our computer.

I proceeded to go through the rest of the other vendors' computers, fixing them one at a time. When I was done, all of the computers could talk to all of the other computers, which caused the customer to believe that I had been right all along and the other computers had indeed been the broken ones - the ones whose own vendors had been unable to fix. Our company came off looking really good, fixing all the other vendors' computers after the other vendors had been there and simply blamed everybody else (as I too had, originally - but I had been right!).

The customer said to let them know any time I felt like a trip to Jacksonville, they'd be glad to invent a problem and request to have me come down to "fix" it.

One day, someone came in to work with a coffee mug with a picture of a Vax on it. The next day, some else brought in a Cray mug. "Mine's faster", he bragged. The next day, someone else brought in a mug with an F-4 fighter jet, explaining "yours don't even move, mine's actually fast!" So I brought in a mug with a SR-71 on it, figuring I had won that war. The next day, someone brought in a space shuttle mug. Oops.
Shortly after I started my first programming job, I hung a poster in my office of some faeries flying around. As it happens, said faeries were topless. A few days later, I noticed that someone had cut little bikinis for them out of Post-Its. This was fine with me, so I left them there. Slowly, I noticed that the company librarian, who had previously been friendly, had become quite cold and standoffish. I didn't know what to make of it. Weeks passed. Eventually, I found out what had happened. The librarian had made the Post-It bikinis as a joke, but someone found out about it and, as a prank, left a note in her office telling her to stay out of my office and don't touch my things, and signed my name to it!



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