Human chess

Friday night.  Sitting back with a beer, recuperating from the craziness that is the week at work.  I have to work Saturday as well, but that’s my problem.  That’s one of the reasons for the beer!  Here’s the fun part.

I enjoy the game of chess.  I suck at it, big time, but I enjoy it.  The pieces are fixed, they only do their jobs, and they do exactly what you tell them to do.  It’s my own fault for getting the pawns and bishops confused.  I also tend to forget that the $#!$%!! night can jump over things.

At work it’s a different story.  I ask someone to do something, they nod.  I ask them to repeat the instructions back, and they babble something that sounds close to what I said.  Good, go and do it.  Time passes, I check on their work, and guess what?  It didn’t come out like I expected.  It may not have come out at all!

Sure, my friends say, get new workers.  It’s not that easy.  A large part of it is human nature.  They hear what they want to hear, and then they do what they want to do.  In a large company management can select from lots of candidates who can get things done exactly right.  In a small organization we don’t have that luxury.

And this is what I realized.  It’s playing chess with pieces that change their minds.  Tell the pawn to move forward two steps, and it decides that one is enough.  Tell the bishop to go one way, and it decides to go another.  And don’t even think about telling the queen or king what to do!  They’ll just wander about under their own orders.

No wonder I like chess.  It’s so much simpler than going to work!

I need another beer.


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