Smarter than you thought

Systems analyst pilot fish and his longtime programming partner are joined by a new hire, and it's soon clear that she has little grasp of systems -- but she does know how to throw lots of jargon around at managers.

"That insured that she was included in many meetings, which kept her too busy to program," sighs fish. "Because of this she soon became our manager.

"One day she called for a meeting, and my co-worker and I knew something was up due to her deer-in-the-headlights look. It turned out she had committed to design a system in six months that would track a product from when it was made to delivery to a customer.

"After she described it, my co-worker and I explained there was no way that could be done in so short a time. She frantically said we needed to put something together to demonstrate next week. Couldn't we just throw a web page together and hook up a database or something?!?

"We again explained it couldn't be done in that time frame, and estimated that two years would be more reasonable.

"She went back and told the managers she had figured out how to connect the systems needed, and would meet the deadline in three months.

"The following week she left the company for another job with more pay.

"My co-worker and I were approached by a management team to see if we could continue with the project. When we explained that what was requested could not be done, one of the managers exclaimed, 'My God, we let the one person who knew how to connect all this stuff get away!'"

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