I am currently listening to a phone conference that is one of the five worst meetings I've ever been part of in my life. I feel the conversation is being divided into two groups of primates, orangutans and gorillas. The gorillas are software developers. The orangutans are software product managers. I'm one of the gorillas. The orangutans are running the meeting.
Me and my fellow gorillas have spent the last six months developing a product, largely on our own. Now that product is going to be released. To do that, we need to work inside the management processes that the orangutans have set up. Well, for a variety of reasons that I will not detail... our project just does not fit into their way of doing things.
So, the meeting quickly degerates into groups of excited primates. We throw a lot of primate poop at each other. There is chest pounding. We all whoop and holler a LOT. We charge about in the brush trying to make as big a fuss as possible. Oh what we could do with a truly great silver back... if it weren't for the fact that the orangutans are our betters in the corporate monoculture of Company O. They must be obeyed, even if we want to go all Planet of the Apes on their asses and say "Get your hands off me, you filthy ape!"
The results are painful. It's kind of like a nightmare visit to the DMV. You show up with a newly bought car, not sure if you have all the right paperwork. You get to directed into a waiting line by a snooty, condescending bureaucrat. Then you wait in line for an indeterminate period of time. Finally, you get to the front of the line and show another snooty, condescending bureaucrat your paperwork. The look you get back is one that essentially says "why are you trying to make my day difficult?" It is accompanied by numerous comments, punctuated by sighs, like "oh that isn't the right form", "and that one isn't stamped correctly", "a handwritten note, how quaint", and "you'll need to redo that".
Eventually, you are given marching orders. You're told that you need to come back in the next five days, after Tuesday at 2pm but before Thursday at 10am, and not at lunch time... but not on Wednesday afternoon, because the office is closed. When you come back, you'll need to bring: a blood sample, your birth certificate, a notarized statement concerning the sale of your car, and a large check... plus as many affidavits as you can get from former owners of your car. Your life becomes hell until it all gets done.
It's not often that my fellow employees get to hear me use the "F" word, but they're fucking going to today (after the meeting is over.) I need a drink in my hand... right now.
on 2004-09-01 at 3:53 p.m.
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