Memory-Lane Monday: It’s in the cards

But is the deck rigged?

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

This IT pilot fish takes a job working for a company owned by a wealthy financial trader, who has some quirks. “One,” says fish, “was that he wouldn’t pay for business cards. But it was OK if we bought card stock and printed our own, so I did that for everyone in the company, including myself.”

Fish’s job title, as of the day he’s hired: manager of Unix operations. But the first time the boss introduces him to a big client, he calls him “director of software development.”

After that meeting, fish reprints his cards. Boss says nothing.

Not long after that, the boss introduces fish to another big client as “vice president of software development.” And fish reprints his cards again.

But this time, fish prints one extra card that gives his title as “master of all computational knowledge” and sticks it in his wallet.

A few days later, fish is meeting with execs from a big IT vendor. Everyone exchanges cards, and after a few seconds, one of the vendor guys starts laughing.

“Yep, that joke card snuck to the front of the pack and got handed out,” says fish. “He wouldn't give it back, either; he loved it.

“And when I finally couldn’t take the trader’s quirks anymore, the place I landed looked at my regular business card and decided I had to be offered a VP position, since I’d been a VP at my last company — at a noticeable pay increase from their initial offer.

“Sometimes it pays to grab the bit and run.”

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