Thursday, September 21, 2006

Great Grandfather

Great grandfather, what did you do when the climate was changing and people were dying in Iraq and the evil ones controlled the government and freedom was being eroded and multinational corporations were making serfs of all humans?

What did I do? I was looking for a space.

A space?

Yes, a space. You see, for hundreds of thousands of dollars we had purchased software from this huge corporation. The software contained errors and, because the corporation didn’t provide good customer service, it was my job to fix the problems. I was looking for a space. Here, let me show you.


ID: 12345
Name: John Doe
Career: Undergraduate


Do you see the space? The 1 should be over the J but it’s not. It’s one space to the right too far. I spent hours searching through thousands of lines of an old language called Cobol looking for that darned space.

But, great grandfather, how did that make the world better?

Better? Well, maybe it didn’t make it better but it made it neater. Everyone said my job was important and they insisted that I remove that offending space.

Great grandfather, when species were going extinct and freedoms were being taken away and religious people were killing one another, did you feel good about your job and what you did?

That’s two questions. Did I feel good about my job? I felt OK about my job. I tried to be honest and thorough and a good worker. Did I feel good about what I did? Um..? What did I do? What could I have done?

4 Comments:

Blogger whitesnake said...

Who knows where the cold wind blows

9/21/2006 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

Paul, this is one incredibly thought-provoking essay. Kudos.

9/22/2006 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger whitesnake said...

A Rat's toss bag?
A toss bag is a bag that you put all your worldly goods in. A rat is a mammal a wee bit larger than a mouse commonly known as a rodent.
What does a rat put in a toss bag?
Nothing.
Hope this clarifies the term "A Rat's Toss Bag"

I wrote all that with a cheeky grin and a touch of humour

9/22/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger The Michael said...

Paul, the job is what one does, not who one is. If those were patches for launch code sequences for nuclear weapons, you might have had reason to fear for your soul. They weren't.

Remember, you, me, and many others, will NOT be going SILENTLY into that dark night. We KNOW where they are dragging us, it's encumbant on THEM to listen.

9/24/2006 08:41:00 AM  

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