Occasionally, though, my consultant mantle demands that I contribute something of a higher-level nature to world-saving. A thought, perhaps, or even a deed. And so I find myself in the midst of working on the upgrade of our accounting system.
If you're in business or information technology, you've probably heard of our accounting software; it's a famous make. The thing is, we're about five versions of this software behind, say, 1999. We're so far behind that you can run both the old version of the software and the new version on the same machine, because they don't use anything resembling the same files.
One of the promised upgrades involves automating a routine paper function that all employees of the organization have to undertake. This is being done in the most roundabout and burdensome fashion possible. I mean, seriously, I couldn't do this in a more kludgy and inefficient way if I tried to design it thus. The official response to complaints about this is to be, "Hey! You asked us to automate this, we don't want to hear your whining!"
I am the change agent for a large portion of the organization when it comes to deploying this software upgrade. I am being required to tell my beloved co-workers--including dear, sweet Molly and charming, self-effacing Amelia--that I am giving them a flaming bag of dog shit, and that the justification for this is, "Hey! You asked for a bag of dog shit! You didn't say it couldn't be flaming!"
And so we beat off against the wind, saving the world.