Friday, November 27, 2009

The Sapling Planter

It was a bright day and the things were quite normal at dawn. As the sun rose higher, an oddity began to sprout out. There were these two men of which one dug a hole in the ground along the side of the road. A few feet after him and another man was burying the hole with the mud dug out by the first man.

One elderly man watched this odd behaviour these two men were demonstrating. The oldie went straight up to these men and asked. "Why are going guys doing this? You are digging up a hole and he is closing it with the dug out mud?"

The first man answered, "Sir, we are three of us working for the City Administration. I dig up the hole, the next person plants the sapling and the third covers up the hole. The guy who has the plant the sapling is on leave today, but we guys came to work!!!"

The same is what happens in many organisations, they have some stupid policy that directs the people to do something that is neither useful to the company nor useful to its employees, but yet still, they are supposed to do that work! It might look odd to an outsider, but for the insider... nevermind... he gets used to it :)

So long until the next post :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Rooster

Once upon a time, in a poultry farm, there were hens that used to lay eggs that were sold by the farm to make money. The business grew and the demand for the eggs increased. But the hens laid only one egg per day that was not enough to meet the demands. So the farm owners decided that they should bring out a new policy.

The policy was that each bird has to lay two eggs a day to meet the demand and there was a threatening clause that if any bird that did not lay two eggs will be deemed unfit and will be beheaded.

The birds were alarmed and for the fear of being beheaded, each bird laid two eggs from the next day, except for one bird that laid only one egg. The farm owners were furious and called the bird in for investigation.

In the office room, the bird was questioned - "Why have you laid only one egg where you are supposed to lay two? Are you not aware of the new policy that requires each bird in the farm to lay two eggs?"

The bird replied, "Yes sirs, I am aware of the new policy. I have done the best to lay this egg, rather I have done this beyond my capacity, because I am a 'ROOSTER'..." :)

Sometimes in some organisations, policies or requirements of a project are specified in such a way that in most cases, it pushes employees beyond what they can do in their capacity or capability. Being a mobile software developer, I have known companies that require apps on BlackBerry to be developed with an iPhone user experience. BlackBerrys applications be programmed to give a rich look and feel, but the user experience on a BlackBerry is entirely different. If you need iPhone experience, go get an iPhone, BlackBerrys are meant to be BlackBerrys and not iPhones. The pity is on the roosters who work on BlackBerry apis and other mobile apis (J2ME, Window Mobile, Android etc), where they are expected to give an iPhone experience :)

So long until the next post :)

The Ostrich

There was this hen that used to loiter around the fields and peck its food. One day, it came across something it has never seen before. It was the egg of an ostrich. The hen was awe-struck by the sheer size of the ostrich's egg. As it has never seen an ostrich before, it thought that some other hen would have laid such a big egg. It then thought, if ate more and tried harder, it too could lay such a big egg.

It set the determination to lay a big egg and started to eat like anything, scouring to the fields eating whatever it could find. It had eaten enough that it could hardly take anymore. It rested for the day expecting the big event to happen the next day.

The next day, it had the impetus to lay the egg, it started to try and push harder to deliver the egg it had expected. After all the hard work and effort, it laid the simple small egg that it used to lay daily.

Some organisations/people at the higher helm think this way, like the hen did. It is not that they should not aim high, but it is the fact that they are aiming/doing things out of proportions than they can handle :)

So long until the next post.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Donkey and The Rain

Once upon a time, there was a King who was very much interesting in hunting. He used to go to hunting regularly in the forest in his kingdom. Whenever he sets out to hunting, he would ask his minister "Will it rain today? Shall I go for hunting?" The minister told "Yes my King you can go for hunting and it will not rain today". The king went for hunting and had a good hunt.

Another day he asked his minister the same question, the minister told that it would rain that day and it is not advised to go for hunting. The King did not heed to the minister, went out for hunting. And as the minister said, it rained heavily and the King was all drenched wet. He returned back to his palace and thought that his minister had amazing ability. So, he called his minister and asked how he got he ability to predict rains.

The minister told that he does not have the ability to predict rains, but he finds it when he sees a donkey with its ears upright. The king got irritated at the minister's answer of not having the ability himself, sacked the minister and replaced him with the donkey as the minister. Now the king had a new problem, the donkeys of his country came rushing to him asking for the minister's post.

Similarly, some donkey would have been promoted for some particular reason to a manager or a member of the higher helm. He will not have the proper training or capacity to handle the new helm causing a chaotic mayhem in the company. Consequently, that donkey serves as a role model for the other donkeys to get promoted to higher positions. The real ministers who are capable are sacked and replaced by donkeys :)

So long until the next post :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Bear

Once upon a time, a group of Accountants, a group of Doctors and a group of IT Managers went on a trekking trip into a forest all together. Suddenly one of the groups posed a challenge to the other 2 groups. The challenge is that each group has venture into the forest catch a tiger and return back to a designated spot. Whoever comes first wins. The challenge was accepted each group went into the forest in search of a tiger.

The Accountants group had a plan for their search and they calculated the plausible location of the tiger, went inside the forest and in about 5 hours they were back with a tiger to the designated spot.

The Doctors group made a plan, they had the map of the forest, something similar to an X-Ray, they plotted their whereabouts against the possible whereabouts of the tiger and they waited for the right time to start their operation they ventured inside the forest and in about 24 hours they got a tiger and returned to the designated spot

The IT Managers group sat down preparing a presentation the scope of the present task, their expertise in that field and then started out to estimates for the effort needs in person days to catch the tiger. They had no idea either about the forest or the tiger, yet ventured into the forest to catch the tiger. Hours went by, and slowly days too went by. The Accountants and Doctors have been waiting for five days and no sign of the IT managers group, so they both decide to go in and find what the IT managers were really doing. The groups went in and searched for sometime and found the IT Managers group at a distance.

When they went near, the IT managers group was having a bear tied to a tree and were smashing it, shouting... "Accept that you are a tiger, Accept that you are tiger..."

This is what happens in the real world scenario, most IT managers don't have a clue about the project they are going to execute, do some document preparations that might be no longer relevant or useful for the project; they catch up some irrelevant bears into the team and stress them out to have the project completed in time, at least for namesake.

So long until the next post :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Skunk

There was once a wealthy landlord who wanted to build a very big home. Hence he called out a construction company to send their architect. The architect came home as requested and spoke to the landlord. The landlord told his wish about building a big home and asked the architect to come up with some of his best designs. The architect is one of the best the construction company ever had. So he came up with 10 great model design for the landlord's home. He took it to the landlord to show which one the landlord liked. He showed those designs one by one to the landlord but the landlord was not satisfied with any of those designs. The architect did not worry about that because it usually happens like people rejecting the designs. So he went back and worked for a few days came up with 10 more, showed it to the landlord. Again, the landlord rejected them all. This went on for a couple of times. The architect by now has shown about 50 designs and felt dejected, because most customers would select one from the first few designs he comes up with. Therefore, he wanted to really understand what the landlord really wanted, so the next time he did not take any designs with him.

The architect met the landlord and told him, "Sir, I have shown you over 50 of my best architectural designs for your home. Yet, you did not like any of them. May I know what you have in your mind, so that I can design to your liking"

The landlord went inside his house and came after sometime. He came with a floor carpet. He showed that carpet to the architect and told, "See Mr. I bought this carpet when I went to Japan, I want you to design something that would suit this carpet...."

The architect's fury knew no bounds. You imagine yourself in the architect's shoes and do whatever you want to that Skunk, sorry landlord.

The liberty of the aforesaid imagination is not available to many organisations, because either the organisations are too small or budding to deal with those wealthy skunks; or they are decently reputed and are worried to create a smelly confrontation...

So long until the next post.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Parasites

There was once a lawyer who had an apprentice lawyer. The lawyer trained the apprentice for a few years and during the few years, the apprentice could not pay his apprentice fees to the senior lawyer as the apprentice was penniless. The senior lawyer felt pity on the apprentice and thought he could recover it after the apprentice completes his training and gets a few cases for himself to make a living.

The apprentice completed the training, got to become a lawyer on his own. The senior lawyer was proud that his apprentice is on his own. So, he thought that he could the apprentice fees that was due. The apprentice told that he will not pay his apprentice fees. The lawyer felt very bad about the apprentice and told that he would sue the apprentice in the court of law. The apprentice nodded.

The lawyer sued the apprentice in the court of law. The notice was served about the hearing. The lawyer called in apprentice to talk to him. The lawyer told that he was not willing to sue him, but he had no option. The apprentice told that he will not pay even if he wins or loses the case. The lawyer was puzzled and asked the apprentice why he said so.

The apprentice explained, "If I win, the court itself has declared that I need not pay. If I lose, I will sue you again on the grounds that you have not trained me correctly to even win this simple case, so I need not pay you the money"

The lawyer really felt pained and took the apprentice out of his good books and withdrew the case too.

Every company has a lot of parasites. These parasites are mostly the indigent, the unworthy and the loathsome without the sense of gratitude. So, how do we win these parasites? You cannot, or rather, you should not.

The parasites remind me of Q's dialogues from Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Non-Star-Trekkies, refer Wikipedia to know who Q is)

"You can't outrun them! You can't destroy them! If you damage them, the essence of what they are remains. They regenerate and keep coming, eventually you will weaken, your reserves will be gone. They are relentless!"

There might be a question, if we cannot or should not win, we are the ones who are losing, how can we admit that? This again reminds me Q's dialogue

"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here, it's wondrous with treasures to satiate your desires both subtle and gross, but it's for the timid" ;)

Parasites will be there, never give a damn about them, but be cautious and brave :)

PS: See, we have encountered a new type of species - the parasites - in our channel :)

So long until the next post.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Jackass

The Original Version

There was once a man who had a dog, the dog was very affectionate to him and would jump in joy when its master is around. The dog used to cuddle, embrace, jump on him and at times lick its master's face in joy. The man also had a donkey that did helped him carry the load. The master used to beat the donkey when it does not carry the load properly. One day, it saw the dog doing his playful and joyous tricks like jumping, embracing its master. On seeing this, the donkey decided, if it too behaved like the dog like showing affection by jumping, putting its leg over the master and licking his face in joy, the master would feel happy and will not beat it. So one fine day, the donkey found its master alone and its joy knew no bounds that it went to its master, jump on him and started licking his face to show his affection. But the master grew angry and beat the donkey heavily. From then on the donkey realized that its cannot do what the dog does and to avoid the beating it has to work properly.

The Noble Version

The man had a dog and a donkey. The dog as said before showed its affection by embracing, licking its master's face and so on. The donkey wanting to do the same to please its master, found its master alone. Went near him and showed its affection to its master in the same manner as the dog. The man took pity on the donkey, understood that it too can show affection, stopped beating it and treated equally like the dog. And they lived on together like this happily every after.  Happy Ending....

The IT Version

The man had a dog and a donkey. The dog as said before showed its affection by embracing, licking its master's face and so on. The donkey wanting to do the same to please its master, found its master alone. Went near him and showed its affection to its master in the same manner as the dog. The master grew vicious, went to the dog and beat the shit out of the dog and shouted "Had it not been for you jumping on me, the donkey would have stayed where it should"

This is the plight of all the top performers/contributors like the dog. They are curtailed of their privileges and freedom, just because of the wrong doings or inefficiency of some jackass like the donkey. It is not that the organizations cannot be paranoid but they have to be very careful in taking measures, as it could drive away the enthusiasm and spirits of the top contributors - dogs.

PS: No animal was injured or hurt by the author during the writing of this post :)

So long until the next post.