'A [new cell] tower was installed near the college.
The local newspaper released interviews from the earthy transient crowd, whose members felt "weird brain waves and headaches when near the tower." Then they interview the students who had been getting better reception since he tower was installed.
The last sentence of the article was "Imagine how both these affects will be magnified next week when the power company turns the tower on."'
"I remember my first "staff" job in a big bank in San Francisco. It was 1980. My partner Dean and I were plucked from the management training program and put on a "special project."
The term "special project" means "All the real jobs are filled by people who, at first glance, don't appear nearly as incompetent as you." That was certainly true in my case. Dean was actually pretty good at appearing competent, but he theorized that he was being punished for something he said to somebody.
Our job was to build a computer information system for the branch banks. We were the perfect people for the job: Dean had seen a computer once, and I had heard Dean talk about it.
Our office was an unused storage room in the basement just off the parking garage, big enough to hold two beat-up desks and some squeaky chairs. It had bare white walls, an uncarpeted floor, no windows, and an annoying echo. It was like a prison cell, but without access to a library and free weights.
Sometimes I would try to call other people in the company to get important information for our project. The response was always the same: "Who are you and why do you want to know?"
I would try to sound important by invoking the first name of the senior vice president and describing how the fate of the free world depended on this vital transfer of information. For example, "Bill needs it . . . to keep our great nation independent."
But somehow they always figured out I was a twenty-two-year-old guy with a bad haircut and a cheap suit sitting in a storage room just off the parking garage. If I was especially charismatic that day, they would have the courtesy to swear at me before hanging up.
Eventually Dean and I degenerated into a pattern of sitting in our little bare room gossiping about co-workers, balancing our checkbooks, and fantasizing about whether the sun was out that day.
When we got bored we would hypothesize about the information we needed, talking about it for hours until we were both pretty sure we knew what it "should" be. Then we packaged it up as "user requirements" and gave it to a woman named Barbara who programmed the system in about two weeks.
The whole project took about a year, because it's not the type of thing you want to rush. When it was done, the results of the system were notoriously inaccurate. But our manager assured us that it was okay because he only used the numbers that supported his personal opinion anyway."
(From The Dilbert Principle.)