The Mystery of the Daytime Tech Job


For example, say you have a household with two boys (OBOY and YBOY) and two girls (OGIRL and YGIRL). Now each child has a specific job that they do around the house, and each is able to answer the front door and process incoming requests for data and services. (Yes, this is a metaphor for a technical system). OBOY runs the household system, which is an interface into each child’s sub-projects and status. DAD (the genial, yet firm monitoring system) roams the halls between their rooms, ensuring that all of his children are awake, doing their jobs and playing well each other. DAD is not allowed in their rooms, but he is the only interface to their rooms.

At least, that’s what the documentation suggests.

I’m trying to explain the conundrum I’m facing this morning to a buddy, and I get this far and the picture seems to be pretty straight foward. “But,” I say, “here’s the situation. DAD has thrown an alert telling me that OGIRL isn’t in her room. She’s sleeping off a bender or something. I query the house and ask for a full status report. Who answers the front door? OGIRL. Who does she query? OBOY. Who reports back that, yes, DAD is correct: OGIRL is not responding, and he doesn’t know where she is. She, however, is the one who is reporting this data to me.”

Now, do I tell DAD his interface to OGIRL’s room is broken and ask him to fix it? Everything would return to normal. But, OGIRL appears to be processing work, so is everything normal anyway? Even though no one will admit to knowing where OGIRL is in the house or if she is doing work.