Hey, this is important! What's taking so long?

This big company offers a series of management programs for its newly hired college graduates, with focuses ranging from manufacturing and engineering to finance and IT, says a pilot fish working there.

"New hires would work a series of six-month assignments over a period of two years," fish says. "The better they proved themselves in the program, the better their final job at the end -- a Director position wasn't unattainable.

"As a result, they tended to work hard, party hard and make hard demands on the folks they interacted with."

One of the management wannabes needs some work done on a system fish supports -- an additional screen, plus database changes and code to make it all work -- and, as is typical, waits until it's close to performance review time before getting fish the specifications.

After which, of course, it's a rush job so that it'll be done in time for the wannabe to get that great recommendation. Result: Shortly after fish gets the specs, wannabe is at his desk asking when the work will be done.

Fish already has a full slate of work -- and also knows that, while this is obviously top priority for the wannabe, it certainly isn't for the division.

So he ponders a moment, then gives the wannabe a date sometime after the performance review.

That's not exactly well received. "But when I was in college, I was able to write something similar in under a week, and I had other classes," wannabe tells fish. "Why can't you?"

To which fish responds, "Because I have to integrate it with the pile of garbage we already have, which was here long before I came. And I'll have to take care of this material long after you're gone in two weeks."

Grumbles fish, "The user went over my head to get priority. I got my boss to defer some work, and I still wouldn't commit to being done on time until the work was actually done and ready to turn over.

"I figured anyone who made unreasonable demands -- and not in a nice way, insinuating that my work was the equivalent of a freshman programming course -- left me no obligation to ease their nerves.

"But the work was still done in time for the user to get a great performance review."

Sharky knows you've got other things to do -- but hey, where's your story? Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt every time I use one. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

Get your daily dose of out-takes from the IT Theater of the Absurd delivered directly to your Inbox. Subscribe now to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
Related:
Windows 10 annoyances and solutions
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.