This 'Tell the truth today Tuesday' sounds like a communist campaign.
The CTO frowned. Morale at The Lonely Top was flagging. This was not the usual Friday excitement. The work turned in by the troops was beginning to look like de la Mare's Mr Nobody:
that squeaking bug will always squeak,
because of this you see:
we leave the debugging to be done
by Mr Nobody.
So he made a proposal to the COO. After all, everyone was doing it: choosing a philosophy and trumpeting it as the reason for success. Correlation might be causation after all. He was just relieved it had not come to a $1 salary. He typed it up and sent it via email.
Almost immediately he was called into the COO's office. The COO did not even waste time on salutations.
"Yeah, this is one of those positive stuff people eat up. Make it happen, we will put it on our blog and get a little press"
The CTO turned to go.
"Wait", the CEO added,
"Call it something shorter, like Truth Tuesday. This 'Tell the truth today Tuesday' sounds like a communist campaign. And while we are on the T's, make them all wear ties".
The COO turned to go, he wondered - why ties? The he got it: a casual atmosphere and truth was a bad combination. It had a knack of bringing out the Dilbert in the team. The tie would remind some one that the possibility of being fired was also the truth - ugly or not.
He made it more pretty and simple (something he had been begging the design team to do for ages!). He emailed it and also printed a copy pasting it on the bulletin board before people started for the weekend, no one had any excuse.
The day finally arrived. He summarised what it was about. A Truth Tuesday to raise issues to deal with before Fix Friday. Then he opened up the floor.
He knew it would not be long before someone asked it.
"Why are we wearing ties? Is that supposed to choke the truth out of us? Turtlenecks also fit the theme, don't they?"
The CTO let the COO answer it.
"No, the turtlenecks do not fit the theme. What's next? Would you also suggest we buy up all domains starting with an 'i' and ending with a noun and grow bald too?", he thundered.
I had to rescue the situation.
"Try to keep on topic here guys. We need things which when aired out on Truth Tuesday, we can work on and release on Fix Friday. Things that affect our productivity."
And that was when the truth started coming out. Who was messing up the code repositories, the person everyone wished they could block mail from, the loser who did not set the right amount of space in his tab and other miniscule but important details.
Before long, more serious things came up. Checkouts and commits to the code repository became less about doing updating library dependencies and testing in the virtual machines. It became much a do about nothing and about the fixing some open source game code with them trumpeting the saying:
Initially you have to choose between building something lots of people like a little bit,
or something a few people like a lot. Choose the latter. Paul Graham
Haven't they heard that 'if you build it they'll come' is a poor business idea.
Internally, AFCON2013 and other non-work issues began trending. They started writing parsers to pull in news and what on the company 'stuff' page that was not filled up with links to LOL cats was occupied by player stats.
The CTO could not rein it in. He could not tell the COO about the monster they had created. It was a rolling stone. And like Frankenstein's monster, it wanted to reproduce. He had to go for confession.
He was not really a priest but their sessions looked a lot like two people in a booth with a grate between them. Theirs was in a restaurant though.
"I see you've stumbled on the truth problem. It is just like eternal recursivity, powerful but costly. Do you read the Bible? Don't look so shocked, it is still legal to do so on hardware or any software platform.
There a lot of stories in it. There is one about someone who once implemented a truth tuesday.
It did not end well. It went like this:
Boss: Thank you for voting me over the democrats.
People: You're welcome. Now, how about reducing tax and introducing medicare?
Boss: I'll think about it.
He then asks his Ivy League buddies. Yeah, the boys from Harvard with their MBAs would have none of it.
Ivy League Buddies: That will belittle you and your office! You dictate policy and not the other way round.
Boss: Thanks guys, I knew I could rely on you. Let's party!
The people came back before the boss.
Boss: You puny losers, you think I'm new at this boss thing? I'll let you know that my little pinkie finger is bigger than all of your ****s. You can not try that stuff with me! Get to work, lazy bones!
And that's how things got split into Republicans and Democrats. True story!
The thing with truth tuesday is this: you forget that the telling applies to all parties involved - even the suits!
If it is getting too much for you, say it! If it is veering off point, mention it! Do not be like the quote
Absolute power is pretty cool.
The suit is not exempt from the truth of tuesday."
I had to ask him if he really meant it. Because from the story, the Boss was hurt by telling the truth.
"That's true. You know why?"
I answered in the negative.
"I'm going to tell you a little truth of my own. Are you listening?"
I nodded assent.
"It is time to pay for consulting!"
And just like that, the session was over.