Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Dreams of a Software Consultant Who Needs a New Job

You're given a task:

“The client's toilet is overflowing. They've contracted you to fix it.” It dawns on you that you're a plumber in this scenario and you have plumbing skills and experience. You think you can do the job.

When you arrive, it's an enormous building, one of the largest you've ever seen. A man meets you in the lobby.

“The broken toilet is on the 72nd floor.”

You walk over to the elevator and push the button. Nothing happens.

“Are the elevators working?”

“No. None of them are.”

“When will they be fixed?”

“Isn't that your job?”

“I don't know anything about elevators.”

He looks at you funny, like you're stupid or lazy or both. You glance at the stairwell. Seventy-two floors is an awfully long ways to climb. But you want to do the job, so you walk on over. The door is locked.

“Can I get in the stairwell?” you ask.

“We have tight security here.”

“Is there any other way up?”

“You can fix the elevator.”

You don't know what to say. He pulls a crumpled paper from his pocket. “The last plumber scaled the side of the building. He left instructions. They might not be complete.”

Just then, a stream of dirty water trickles past on the floor.

“You need to hurry,” he says. “That toilet is our number one priority.”

The alarm goes off. It's time to go to work.


Autistic Lurker said...

Amen (yes I'm in the exact same situation...) but what's the point of this post?

Anonymous said...

I liked this post because I am often presented with problems that seem simple enough at first (a toilet), but then become more complicated with factors I'm expected to solve (elevators, locked doors to stairs) - blocking my ability to solve the original problem. Then I am viewed as "stupid, lazy or both" when I cannot figure out how to solve the original problem. I spend time trying to understand both people and society - and people tell me I think too much, and worry too much. But when presented with similar situations (of impossible problems thrown together into a giant mess) - I have to think a lot.

Zamboozee said...

Perhaps he should call a plumber...?