Steve Parity is a contractor who was hired to develop tests for a high tech company. Today is his first day on the job. Contractors don’t enjoy the same privileges as full time employees. The validation manager is talking to her team in the test lab.
[MANAGER]: We need to write 10,000 test cases by the end of the week. I won’t accept anything less from the team.
[TESTER 1]: I’m not one to make comments from the peanut gallery, but why 10,000 test cases?
[TESTER 2]: Yeah, where did that number come from?
[TESTER 3]: This is bullshit!
[MANAGER]: I know that it is a stretch, but I did get some extra help. Everybody, I want you to meet Steve Parity. Steve is a contractor who will help us write the test cases.
[STEVE]: Hi all.
[TESTER 1]: He’s a greenie-weenie!
Everybody at the company wears a badge to identify themselves. Contractors wear green badges.
[TESTER 3]: Does it fetch coffee and donuts?
[MANAGER]: Knock it off. Treat Steve with respect. He is here to help us reach our goal.
[TESTER 2]: She’s right. We all need to work together to get the job done.
[TESTER 3]: We are a team, damn it!
[EVERYONE]: One for all and all for one! Hoorah!
[MANAGER]: I promise that if you finish the 10,000 test cases on time, I will buy t-shirts for every non-green badge tester on our team.
Everybody but Steve cheers.
[MANAGER]: Oops. I’m late for a meeting. Don’t forget about our morale team building event this afternoon. We’re going white water rafting.
[STEVE]: That’s sounds really cool. Can I go?
[MANAGER]: Sorry, Steve. Contractors are not allowed to participate in company activities due to insurance liability risks. You just concentrate on writing those test cases.
[STEVE]: Ok. I understand.
[MANAGER]: Alright everyone – let’s get to work.
The manager hurries off.
[TESTER 1]: Man, we have a lot of work to do.
[TESTER 3]: Does anyone want to get a pop with me? I’m going to the cafeteria.
[TESTER 2]: It’s Earl Grey tea for me, Limey.
[TESTER 1]: What kind of fruit do they have today?
[TESTER 2]: Who cares? It’s all free anyway.
[STEVE]: Free. Can I go with you guys? I haven’t eaten breakfast yet.
[TESTER 1]: Sorry, free for us, but not for greenie-weenies such as yourself.
[TESTER 2]: Don’t fret greenie – they might keep a vat of smelly durian around just for your kind.
[TESTER 3]: Or jack-arse fruit…
Everybody but Steve laughs.
[TESTER 1]: You better start on those test cases.
[TESTER 2]: Yeah, the manager promised us that we get free t-shirts if we finish them on time. I’m not going shirtless because of some greenie-weenie not doing his job.
The testers mock Steve as they head off to the cafeteria. Steve starts working on the test cases. He doesn’t see the other testers for the rest of the day. The next day arrives.
[MANAGER]: It looks like you will be working alone today, Steve.
[STEVE]: What’s wrong?
[MANAGER]: Everybody called in sick. They ate too many donuts after white water rafting yesterday. Fortunately, I don’t like donuts. Just keep doing what you are doing. I have a management training workshop today. I will try to catch up with you later.
The next day arrives. The manager has the day off and the other testers are off playing ping pong and foosball. All day Steve works by himself. The next day arrives.
[MANAGER]: Hi Steve.
[STEVE]: Where is everyone?
[MANAGER]: The suits from corporate headquarters are here today. They are gathering everyone to meet in the main conference room to make a big announcement. I think it has to do with the product that we are working on. I’m very optimistic about our future, Steve. If you play your cards right this week, I’m sure that we will have plenty of work for you for the rest of the year. There might even be a job offer for a permanent position, but I can’t promise you that right now.
[STEVE]: Wow that sounds exciting. Can I go? I want to get more involved with the company.
[MANAGER]: Sorry, Steve, no contractors are allowed. Just finish those test cases – it’s my number one priority for the team this week.
[STEVE]: I’m on it.
The entire day passes and Steve doesn’t see anyone. Uninterrupted for the past several days, Steve has made more progress than all of the other testers combined. In fact, he has done all of the work by himself. He is nearly finished. The next day arrives. The parking lot is vacant. Even the security guards are nowhere to be seen. Steve walks to the lab. It’s empty. He starts to write the final test cases. Several hours pass and still no one arrives. He begins to think that it is a holiday or something. He finishes the last test case. He gives himself a self-congratulatory pat on the back. Just then a distinguished man in a suit walks into the lab and approaches him. The man is wearing a gold badge surrounded by diamonds.
[RAO]: Hi Steve.
[STEVE]: Who are you?
[RAO]: My name is Rao Rammstein. I’m the chairman of the board of directors for this corporation. Do you need a cup of coffee or something? We need to talk.
Steve and Rao walk together to the cafeteria.
[STEVE]: Where did everybody go?
[RAO]: We had to let them go.
[RAO]: The company is losing money hand over fist. We had to make drastic cuts. Everybody got axed yesterday except for you, Steve.
[STEVE]: What do you want from me?
[RAO]: We still have a viable product, that’s why we retained you. I know that you are an achiever. You proved yourself by completing those 10,000 test cases in short order. As a result, you know our product better than anyone else – both good and bad. We need you to move the company forward.
[STEVE]: So I get to keep my job?
[RAO]: Yes and there is a promotion.
[STEVE]: What kind of promotion?
[RAO]: You are now CEO of the company.
Steve is ecstatic. He can’t help himself. He reaches for a free apple.
[STEVE]: Does this mean I get massive stock options, free insurances, lifetime retirement benefits, a corporate jet, a private parking space, and a golden parachute? Mr. Rammstein, does this mean that I finally get the respect I deserve?
[RAO]: Of course not, Steve. You are a contractor. Put the apple back, greenie-weenie!