Why I can never be trusted with anything important or sensitive

One of the things I frequently do in my job is what’s known in the IT industry as “process re-engineering.” What this flash-sounding description means is I look at how something’s done now and see if I can work out a way to do it better, usually by using some sort of software. I was recently involved in a review of workplace emergency procedures which went a little… wrong. And there’s no getting around it – the whole debacle was completely my fault.

We were looking at the “serious incident” reporting form and, well… how do I describe what happened? My brain let me down. More specifically, the little voice in my head that’s supposed to control my more bizarre impulses took a fucking holiday. Most people have a little voice that advises them against committing career suicide – “tell the boss his tie looks great, don’t tell the truth and say it looks like someone ate an entire ice cream cake then threw up on it.”

I suspect my little voice has some chronic substance abuse issues. Most of the time he’s either comatose and unable to help me or he’s actively contributing to a negative outcome by screaming something along the lines of “Go ahead and tell him he’s an idiot! You’d be doing him a favour by pointing out how fucked up his idea is – who cares if he’s a divisional manager?”

My little voice hadn’t gotten me into trouble for a while so I guess I was overdue for a blowout. Everything in the emergency process review was going well until I saw that the reporting form included a space for drawing a picture of the “incident”. I blurted out (in a rather enthusiastic tone):

“Do you get to use different colours when you draw the picture?”

This met with a confused silence until someone asked the obvious question: why would that matter?

“Because,” I responded, “that would be really cool. You could do a before and after picture and use colours to really illustrate what happened.” At this point, the warning voice should have been screaming at me to shut up but all was quiet. So I walked up to the whiteboard to illustrate. “You see, here’s Ralph before the accident and everything’s fine:”Β 

before image

“And now we show Ralph after…”Β 

after image

It’s easy to see why I thought this was a good idea, right? This is an accident report that really lets you know how serious the accident was. I like to think my special skills were shining through here.

Those people don’t invite me to meetings any more.

15 Comments

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15 responses to “Why I can never be trusted with anything important or sensitive

  1. Heh, you could even get them to include a pack of crayons in the first aid kit (or wherever the incident reports are kept). In fact, playing with crayons would probably be infinitely more preferable than the actual agendas of most meetings I’ve been to…

  2. Could you imagine psychoanalysing people’s crayon drawings after a meeting? You’d soon find out what they thought about the meeting and its presenter.

  3. not getting invited to meetings anymore is one of my long-term career goals!

  4. Dont you hate that cold silence followed by glazed looks…………

    Thats when you start to hear this little song………….

    All alone am I ever since your goodbye,

    all alone with just the beat of my heart.

    People all around, but I don’t hear a sound,

    just the lonely beating of my heart.

    No use in holding other hands

    for I’d be holding only emptiness.

    No use in kissing other lips

    for I’d be thinking just of your caress.

    All alone am I ever since your goodbye,

    all alone with just the beat of my heart.

    People all around, but I don’t hear a sound,

    just the lonely beating of my heart.

    No other voice can say the words

    my heart must hear to ever sing again.

    The words you used to whisper low …

    no other love can ever bring again.

    All alone am I ever since your goodbye,

    all alone with just the beat of my heart.

    People all around, but I don’t hear a sound,

    just the lonely beating of my heart.

  5. Thats very cool, Marr.

    Mine would be:

    No sound but the opening of another can of beer….

  6. So your idea was a success then?

  7. Salamaat,
    hahahha…what are you (not!) thinking Mr. Angry?! That’s hilarious!
    Wow to never HAVE to go to meetings..sounds like a dream.

  8. LOL.

    This reminds me of something almost as stupid I said once. (Turned out I was right though!)

    While working with the Tablet PC Evangelism team at Microsoft, we were discussing a rollout of new machines to MS execs. The marketing dude (who is rather intelligent and knows his stuff) said that the execs love that entire “out of box experience” and that it we should just hand them the entire box as is.

    Of course I had to ask “but what if the out of box experience sucks?”

    So everyone else looked at me and after a few seconds started laughing.

    I was perfectly serious…

    Turns out I was perfectly CORRECT too. The OOBE *DID* suck for that particular model and two weeks later we had orders passed down to spend some time fixing it up. Haha.

    It earned me a good (I think!) reputation for being honest and speaking my mind about technical problems though. πŸ™‚

  9. tom: that was an unexpected side benefit.

    marr: nice song!

    gruntski: a good response

    engtech: a total succes – they lock me in a room with a big collection of crayons all day now.

    maliha: not going to meetings is good but I get some really funny looks now.

    devlin: it’s good when honesty is rewarded – it’s always a risk though.

  10. engtech: a total succes – they lock me in a room with a big collection of crayons all day now.

    where do I apply?

  11. Crayons! I’m in. I’ll bring india ink and paintbrushes. The crayon can act as a resist to the ink. Kind of like oil and water.

    Then afterwards I would pull-out my handy little Doodle dictionary to analize what these dear doodles all mean.

    Mr. Angry these illustrations made me Bahahahahahahahahahahhaha! Such a great story dude!

    … and I really do own a doodle dictionary to interpret doodles.πŸ™‚

  12. engtech: they don’t let me talk to anyone in the outside world

    Jessica: I am sooooo never letting you see the squiggles in my notebook!

  13. Speaking of crayons, I like oil pastels better. More colorful. You can tell a lot by what people draw or doodle.

  14. range: far too much in my case

    jessica: I could probably trust you but I’m naturally reticent because I always doodle in business meeting – things like the presenter having their head melted by aliens. I’m mildly paranoid about my doodles being psychoanalysed as they reveal far too much about meπŸ˜‰

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