Asked for a FIAT, got a luxury cruise liner

Many organizations tend to think that over-achieving employees are an absolute boon, but this is not always the case.

Often enough all you need to finish up a project is a small piece of code. So you ask for a FIAT expecting the competent employee to hand you back a MERCEDES at best. The MERC is an overshot but it is still useful, it is within scope: a four wheeled sedan! Sometimes though the overeager super programmer will deliver a high seas cruise liner with a seven star hotel built in including a crystal laden dining room with a band playing dixie.

Case and point: Once I needed a small UNIX script to be run under xinetd and trigger some actions. After describing the need to my top programmer I held back expecting him to overshoot the scope and astonish me. Well I did get an astonishment that I did not even believe possible. I got a script that was a program generator that could produce other scripts based on behavioral rules fed into it via IP sockets. A most excellent piece of code but completely useless for the current project’s need. So I scrapped the cruise liner and smelted one of its bulkheads to the little one page script that I needed. To this day I do not know what happened with the rest of that glittering code.

When you have to reign over-achievers back continuously to bring them within focus, it becomes a noose that can easily squeeze the air out of your projects.


2 thoughts on “Asked for a FIAT, got a luxury cruise liner

  1. dark5un says:

    Thank god … I thought you were talking about me …

  2. onliner says:

    ha! he was implying you though 😛

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