A Shred of Knowledge

A story to illustrate a point:

A young engineer was leaving the office at 5.30pm when he found the Boss standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand. “Listen,” said the Boss “this is a very sensitive and important document and my secretary is not here. Can you make this thing work?” “Certainly,” said the young engineer. He turned on the machine, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button. “Excellent. excellent,” said the Boss as his paper disappeared inside the machine, “I just need one copy.”

Lesson: Never, never, ever assume that the person asking knows what they are doing.

The point here is that often when a client asks me to do X, it pays to really and truely understand what it is they are really asking for.

Thanks to Michael at http://www.compendium.com.au/ for passing the story onto me. Love it.

Written on September 7, 2011