Systems Hardware Integration Tasks
The Systems Hardware Integration Task document is intended to provide a complete transactional workflow model of the processes by which Monkeybagel.com and its designated agents will perform duties pertaining directly to the deployment of system services to its internal customers.
[CUSTOMER defines REQUIREMENTS based on BUSINESS NEEDS and delivers them to a PROJECT MANAGER.]
FINANCE: It takes us too long to process tax forms. It should only take an hour so we can make it home in time for Wheel of Fortune.
PROJECT MANAGER: Okay.
[PM communicates REQUIREMENTS to ENGINEER for HARDWARE SELECTION.]
PM: They need their taxes done in an hour.
ENGINEER: They should buy a Silicon Graphics O2 Workstation. It looks like a gumdrop!
[PROJECT MANAGER brings REQUIREMENTS and HARDWARE SELECTION to FINANCE.]
PM: The Finance Department needs this to do their taxes. As you can see, it looks like a gumdrop.
FINANCE: I hate gumdrops.
FINANCE: We acquired a circus and a deli last week. You can use anything you find in their inventory. Those Finance guys need to curb their spending.
PM: But they didn't have any computers! And YOU'RE the Finance guys!
FINANCE: Go away, Mr. Gumdrop. We gotta go watch Wheel.
[PM returns to ENGINEER with APPROVED HARDWARE.]
PM: It's... well, it's a monkey. Pretty big one, though! And a bagel. Well, most of a bagel. Bad monkey!
[ENGINEER designs SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE.]
ENGINEER: Monkey on top of bagel. No. Monkey beside bagel. Nah. Bagel on top of... wait! I've got it!
[ENGINEER delivers HARDWARE and ARCHITECTURE to SYSADMIN for BUILD.]
ENGINEER: Look, I got us a monkey! Let's stick him in this bagel and then he'll do our taxes!
SYSADMIN: A monkey will not fit in a bagel. [demonstrates]
MONKEY: Nice. Real nice. Does your mother know what you do for a living?
SYSADMIN: [whispers] Yes. She tells the neighbors I died in 1997.
MONKEY: I don't blame her.
ENGINEER: You're right, it won't fit. We need to fold the monkey.
SYSADMIN: Could you explain about the taxes bit?
ENGINEER: Taxes! Monkeybagels do taxes in an hour! Tax-doing monkeybagels!
SYSADMIN: [nodding slowly] Ah. I see. Monkeys and bagels. Taxes. Right.
ENGINEER: Now get to it! We only have three days!
[SYSADMIN initiates BUILD PROCEDURE by engaging HARDWARE SUPPORT.]
SUPPORT: Do you have any experience in accountancy?
SUPPORT: Yes or no?
SUPPORT: I have here a straight razor and a quart of gin. I stop cutting when the gin's all gone.
MONKEY: I used to cook the books for a defense contractor in Iowa.
SYSADMIN: You? But you're a monkey!
MONKEY: And you died in '97. You think you're the only one with a past?
SYSADMIN: Point taken.
SUPPORT: What's your standard consulting rate?
SYSADMIN: Oh, gosh, it's been so long since I freelanced, um, forty, no, FIFTY--
SUPPORT: I'm asking the monkey, dumbass.
MONKEY: Two thousand a day plus expenses, travel and meals included.
SYSADMIN: Two thousand a DAY? For a MONKEY?
MONKEY: Twenty-five hundred. You want me to go three? Keep it up.
SUPPORT: Tell you what. I'll give you that bagel and I won't cut your thumbs off.
MONKEY: That should do nicely.
[HARDWARE SUPPORT delivers HARDWARE for DEPLOYMENT. HARDWARE SUPPORT goes to find something cute and fuzzy to disfigure.]
SYSADMIN: Phew! That was easier than I thought.
MONKEY: I suffer from chronic attacks of severe diarrhea. Also, I got hooked on smack during my second tour of duty in 'Nam and need to shoot up three times a day or I go into convulsions. Plus I'm vegan, but I require fresh beef daily to comply with the tenets of my religion. And could you do something about the lighting in here? Maybe some full-spectrum lamps? Otherwise I'll get suicidally depressed. And I need lots of pickles, because when I'm doing taxes I need to have my feet rubbed with pickles or I start transposing nines and twos at random. The pickles are key.
SYSADMIN: No problem.
MONKEY: Er, what?
SYSADMIN: I said I'll handle it. Anything else?
MONKEY: You know, I kinda expected more of a fight.
SYSADMIN: Let me check my understanding of the situation. Here we are, in the final phase of a futile and worthless project, and you just blurted out a barrage of last-minute demands based on ridiculous and contradictory premises and implied that if I failed to meet these conditions then your own ability to work would be impaired in such a way as to impede or halt the work of anyone nearby, and it would look to everyone as though it were completely my fault.
MONKEY: Right. So what's your point?
SYSADMIN: I used to provide system support for a team of database administrators. One time, out of the blue, for no apparent reason, they called up a senior vice-president and told him that they needed root access to all of our servers so they could run the 'ls' command and if they didn't get that permission then nobody in the company would get paid that month. In the end I had to tell them that if they ever had the need, they could call me at any time, day or night, and I would at that time tell them the root password. They agreed and were happy. They called the first night and used the password to set up a porn site on our firewall. I shut the site down and notified our security guys. I got fired when our security guys found out I'd given out the password over the phone and reasoned that the database people wouldn't have been that obvious so it must have been a Russian hacker. So let us now return to the matter at hand, about which I have only one question: What kind of pickles?
MONKEY: You know, I'm basically fine with just the bagel. Forget I asked.
MONKEY: You ever consider another career?
SYSADMIN: Never! I love the people I work with too much.
MONKEY: You're insane. Completely out of your fucking mind. You know that, right?
SYSADMIN: Of course. It wouldn't be as tragic if I weren't so painfully aware.
MONKEY: Right. I'll get going on the taxes. Go take a Xanax or something, you look fried.
[SYSADMIN completes HARDWARE DEPLOYMENT and notifies ENGINEER.]
SYSADMIN: Here's the damn monkey. He likes pumpernickel. I'm going to go get a mocha.
ENGINEER: We did it! Monkeybagels for everyone!
[ENGINEER notifies PM, then creates a Monkeybagel Hardware Standard and recommends that all new systems be engineered to the same specifications.]
PM: Your system's been deployed. Please let us know if we can be of further service.
FINANCE: We need somebody to fix the diving board on the corporate swimming pool.
PM: We have a corporate swimming pool?
FINANCE: No, WE have one. And the diving board's broken. Get somebody to weld it.
PM: Do we employ any scuba divers with welding experience?
FINANCE: No. But we just bought a pet shop and there's some really cute puppies in there. See what that engineer of yours can do with them -- he's really something!
(This document highlights dozens of obvious opportunities for process improvement. For example, it would be trivial for a quality engineer to profile the sysadmin's role as demeaning, redundant, and of little value; he would then recommend to management that the job be eliminated and the associated headcount released.)