Thursday, September 16, 2010

What matters is the result

Third semester electronics lab exam.
A few minutes before the scheduled three hours comes to an end, the girl verifies the circuit again for the hundredth time, and presses the components hard into the breadboard. The circuit is perfect, but there is no output on the screen. There is nothing left to do. The screen still shows what it had been showing for the last two hours. On the verge of depression, she looks around to see some pleased faces and some dejected ones.

The Professor comes around to check how everyone has performed. He looks at her screen, shakes his head at the noise pattern and makes a note in his book. Her fate is sealed.

"Please look at my circuit, Sir," she pleads. "It's correct, but I do not know why there is no output."

"You should be able to show the expected output - a sinusoidal wave," he says as he walks away without a glance.

"But the circuit..."


"Friday is the deadline!" says the Boss.
"Yes, but I'm afraid the software will not be ready. It will be, by the next Tuesday. Can we inform the client of the delay?"

"Impossible! We had one month to finish it!" Boss is beside himself with fury.
"Yes, but there had been alterations from the plan, new features were added in between. The delivery from the client was delayed too. Besides, we had to please the Quality Assurance guys, we had to do extra documentation - and that wasn't planned."

"Excuses, excuses! Just release it as it is!"
"It is not completely tested! If we wait till Tuesday I can assure you of its quality."

"What have you guys been doing?"
(Under his breath): "Working, unlike you." (Loudly): "Developing, testing, bug-fixing, documenting, the whole software development process. The team is exhausted. But we all will work over the weekend. I'm sure the client will understand..."

"If you can't show the results, there is no point in whatever you do. If you can't lead your team and get the work done on time, you're a bad leader. I'll talk to you at your appraisal..."
"But I've done everything! It's only a question of two days... I assure you..."


The child at the dining table is munching chicken legs, enjoying every juicy bite, the remnants painted on his cheeks and hands. A few chicken bones are scattered in a plate before him. 

Mom appears, looks at his plate and places her hands on her hips. He knows the pose. He stops eating and gapes at her.

"You've been at it for thirty minutes," she announces. "And look at your plate!" He looks at the plate of chicken bones; she looks at the untouched plate of rice nearby.

"Finish. Your. Rice. Now!

"But I finished my chicken. And potato also. See?"

"So? The plate of rice should be empty within the next ten minutes!" She walks away.

"But I ate a lot of chicken, my stomach is full, I don't like rice..."


  1. Excellent post. but what matters is the comments..

  2. I could relate to the software part better - because I was a software developer --> team leader --> configuration manager!!

  3. Nice..I could relate to each of these three scenarios :( had electronics circuit lab exam, is currently a software engineer, and is a person who is always bugged by others about eating food

  4. * takes a bow* It touched a nerve- a very raw one.
    I so so can relate to the last part!!!