"WebStar, this is Ronald."
"Hi, this is Donald Uffizi. You've been trying to reach me?"
"Yeah, Donald. How's it going?"
"It just goes."
"Right, I hear you. I wouldn't bother you but I'm trying to pick up the slack on the Yadsmud project."
"Yeah, I keep trying to get a deadline from Rhoda."
"You did?" asked Ron. "You were? Well, she's not managing this project any more."
"I don't know. That's not my department. It's Amy's project now. Listen, I can't make any sense out of these specs."
"When's the deadline?"
"Oh, Christ," said Donald. Ron made a bizarre snorting noise. "I'll have it for you tomorrow."
"Tomorrow? What? The specs?"
"No. The program. The next release."
"Oh. Okay. Well, but now that this project has been brought to my attention, I have to know how you're doing it. How can you program off these specs? They don't make any sense. They could mean anything."
"Not anything. Just a range of things. I interpret it as best I can."
"So you're guessing. That gives us no control of the process. We can't guarantee anything."
"Exciting, isn't it?" asked Donald.
"It's crazy. Tell me how you're interpreting the specs."
"For me the key is 'sacrificing precision.' It allows me to create unexpected connections, because I can risk a 'wrong' connection."
"You're going to have to be a lot more specific than that."
"Well, I'm coding in Java. I use idea objects."
"What are idea objects?"
"It collects ideas. Each idea has its properties and its methods. So it looks for ideas in the Web pages and also in the keywords people type in. Then it matches the ideas, not the words."
"But what's an idea?"
"You know," said Donald. "An idea."
"That's not a Java term."
"No, Ron. It's a human term."
"But what do you mean by it? How do you define it?"
"I don't really. I just try to guess at it. If it's a real idea, it will get reinforced. But even then it could be subjective. You could say they're user-defined."
"What's your algorithm?"
"I have several. I keep changing them."
"And the customer has been trying this and they're happy with it?"
"I don't talk to the customer, but no complaints have gotten back to me. And I know they're using it. I can see their ideas."
"You realize that no one else could possibly work on this project."
"You're probably right. I should've commented the code more."
"I tried running a search. It took forever. How are you going to bring that time down?"
"I don't know. I just figure it out as I go. I'm more concerned with logic now."
"Sounds to me like you made a really slow search engine with random results."
"Ha! Pretty much."
"How about instead of a deliverable, you go back and document everything you've done. Then we'll see if we can salvage this project."
"No, I don't think so."
"What? Why not?"
"I know Yadsmud is launching in the fall. There's no time. I'll barely enough time to finish it as it is."
"Don't worry about Yadsmud. I'll talk to Yadsmud. You just worry about documentation."
"Go ahead and talk to Yadsmud. I'm going to keep working on their code."
"I said to document it."
"Yes, I heard you. But I'm not doing it. I know what I have to do."
"I cannot fucking believe the week I am having. No one is listening to me. Okay, write their code. But they'll never see it. I'll be waiting for your documentation. I'll be getting real specs from the customer. And then I'll have someone else work on it. I can't fire you, but I don't have to give you any work either. Enjoy your free money."
And then Ron hung up on Jesus.
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