The company makes a point of bringing in the best and the brightest. They go to all of the best schools and recruit. Every year a new college graduate is brought in and his career gets that jump start it needs to excel in his (or her) field. This is a story about this year’s recruit.
[Efenji]: I have a problem.
[Tyler]: Nothing, what’s your problem?
[Efenji]: I have to submit a document and it has to be reviewed by my peers.
[Efenji]: The document is already late.
[Tyler]: How do you mean?
[Efenji]: It was due 8 weeks ago.
[Tyler]: Okay, but you were just hired.
[Efenji]: I have missed my first deadline. I finished my yearly review and then I was told that my peer review document was late.
[Tyler]: What do you mean you finished your yearly review? You were hired two weeks before Christmas and then left over the break to go to your graduation ceremony.
[Efenji]: Yes, and then I was told to complete my yearly review.
[Tyler]: That’s silly. You’ve been here just shy of a month. If anything, your manager might want a status report.
[Efenji]: It was my manager who asked for my yearly review. He said it is my “brag sheet.” It is going to be reviewed by a tribunal that weighs my accomplishments against my peers. If I come out at the bottom I am going to be drowned.
[Tyler]: I’m not sure what you mean.
[Efenji]: I was told the person with the least accomplishments is irradiated with infrared and placed in a pool.
[Tyler]: Okay, I understand your misunderstanding, now. Someone is not giving you the whole story. You’ve just been hired, so there is no expectation that you compare to your peers. I’m sure it is just paperwork that states every employee must do this.
[Efenji]: Okay, but what about my document for peer review. It is late. This most certainly reflects poorly on my performance review.
[Tyler]: When was it due?
[Efenji]: November 30th.
[Tyler]: What was your first day?
[Efenji]: December 1st.
[Tyler]: So by this reasoning, as of your first day, you already missed your deadline?
[Tyler]: What division hired you?
[Efenji]: The microwave division. I was to be working with a senior engineer on wireless power transmission.
[Tyler]: And the document for peer review is about this?
[Tyler]: I am confused. What do you mean no?
[Efenji]: During the time in which I returned to my school for my graduation ceremony, the microwave power division was dissolved. I am now required to write the test plan for the software being developed that solves D ‘Alembert’s paradox in fluid dynamics.
[Tyler]: Fluid dynamics? You were a top recruit from your school and have just received your master’s degree. I read your thesis in advanced microwave power transmission and I’ll admit it was beyond me. Why would they assign you to work on something you have no special knowledge of?
[Efenji]: I do not know, but my test plan is now over a month late. I need to write it and get peer review.
[Tyler]: Jeez, okay. Well, what do you know about fluid dynamics?
[Efenji]: Not a lot. I brought up the page from Wikipedia and I looked up D ‘Alembert.
[Tyler]: Sure, but that’s not going to be enough, right?
[Efenji]: No, but when I asked the software developer about the requirements, he told me he would have to get back to me.
[Tyler]: And did he?
[Efenji]: Yes, but his email was cryptic.
[Tyler]: How so?
[Efenji]: The subject was “Requirement Specifications” and the body of the email said, “Here.”
[Efenji]: There was an attached spreadsheet.
[Tyler]: And what was cryptic about that?
[Efenji]: I was unable to read it.
[Tyler]: Was it encrypted?
[Efenji]: No, it was empty.
[Tyler]: What, I don’t understand. You were sent a blank requirements document?
[Efenji]: How am I supposed to write a test plan for the component I am responsible for if I do not know what it does? And I don’t know what any of the requirements are?
[Tyler]: I am at a loss…
[Efenji]: The test plan document is late for peer review and I will have the worst review and be drowned!
Tyler watches as Efenji runs away on the verge of tears. He wonders back to his cube and as he sits down to read his email, he sees Efenji plummet past the window. As their lab was eleven floors high, chances for Efenji’s survival are slim.