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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Gantt Never Did Anyttttthing

Things are getting pretty serious at work. For a while, there were only a few of us. We’d get stuff accomplished, tackle new projects, and generally make ourselves productive all willy-nilly around the copy machine.

Well, no more. We’ve grown. And now, by god, we’re doing Business™. We’ve brought people in who know all about this Business™ stuff, and how to do it, and which tie goes best with it, and which degree you have to sleep through to get people to hire you to tell them all about it, apparently.

“Today, we’re a collective Business™ dynamo, leveraging our paradigms and targeting our value niche and all sorts of other cool things that also sound vaguely like euphemisms for anal sex.”

Before, we were but neophytes, stumbling along with our Neanderthal planning skills and poorly-branded PowerPoint presentation templates. Today, we’re a collective Business™ dynamo, leveraging our paradigms and targeting our value niche and all sorts of other cool things that also sound vaguely like euphemisms for anal sex.

(I knew a girl in college who was majoring in business. Get three glasses of wine into her, and you could totally synergize her core competencies. If you know what I’m saying.

And if you do know, would you please tell me? Because I’ve completely lost track in the biznobabble.)

Anyway, all this efficiency and organization and methodology is great. Really. I do miss the actual work that we used to do, once upon a time. Instead, we have lots and lots of meetings, where we have conversations like this one from today:

Me: Okay, great, then. I’ll get started on that big project we talked about right away.

Business™ Guy: Super. Just get me the Gantt chart, and we’ll run with it.

Me: Okay, I… sorry, the what, now?

Business™ Guy: Gantt chart.

Me: The wha kind?

Business™ Guy: Gantt.

Me: Sorry, are you saying two ‘t’s there? It really sounds like you’re saying two ‘t’s.

Business™ Guy: Right. Gantt.

Me: Gaaaant. T.

Business™ Guy: No. Just Gantt.

Me: Gantt.

Business™ Guy: Right.

Me: Okay, good. So what the hell’s a Gantt chartt?

Business™ Guy: Not ‘chartt’. Just chart.

Me: Sorry. I just assumed. What with the Gantt and all.

Business™ Guy: Right.

Me: It’s probably a common mistake.

Business™ Guy: Not especially, no.

Me: Nobody says ‘Gantt chartt’?

Business™ Guy: No.

Me: Because I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it both ways.

Business™ Guy: I don’t think so.

Me: All right. Don’t get ttouchy about it. So what is it?

Business™ Guy: The Gantt chart is a tool we use in Business™ to track progress on projects.

Me: Uh-huh. Is there a shorter description, maybe? Reader’s Digest version?

Business™ Guy: Project life-cycle management.

Me: Gotcha. So are those just random B-school flash card words thrown randomly together?

Business™ Guy: No.

Me: It’s a real thing?

Business™ Guy: Yes.

Me: I see. I’m still not getting it. What do I have to do?

Business™ Guy: It’s simple. Just identify the various phases of the project, elucidate the subtasks, describe the interdependencies, and build the chart to visualize the work breakdown structure.

Me: Ohhhh — oh, that. Sure, I can do that.

Business™ Guy: Great.

Me: Only…

Business™ Guy: Yes?

Me: What was the all-the-stuff-you-just-said part? I didn’t really catch, uh… any of that.

Business™ Guy: *sigh*

Me: Sorry. Any of THATT.

Business™ Guy: Stop thatt — I mean, that. Look, this is simple. We could get a trained monkey to make one of these.

Me: Oooh, would you? That would really take a load off. Also, I make a really mean banana pudding that-

Business™ Guy: No, we’re not getting a monkey. We have you. YOU do it.

Me: Well, can you get a monkey to do the actual project?

Business™ Guy: No!

Me: I see. How about a monkey to tell the client that the project’s not done because the guy working on it is making Ganttttttt chartttttts instead?

Business™ Guy: No.

Me: You could get a llama to tell them. Everybody loves a cute llama.

Business™ Guy: No. No circus animals or livestock whatsoever. Just you.

Me: Hmmm. Well, can I put ‘Making the Gantttttt charttttttt as the first task on the chart?

Business™ Guy: Well — no. But-

Me: Because then it would be all self-referential. It’s like the project, scheduling itself.

Business™ Guy: I don’t think-

Me: Ooh, and making the chart could have a dependency on itself.

Business™ Guy: That’s not how it-

Me: And what if making the chart was its own project — with its OWN chart? Whoa.

Business™ Guy: What?

Me: I totally just “tearing the fabric of spacetime’d” myself there.

Business™ Guy: Great.

Me: Look, I’m a little woozy now. If you could just get the chimp to work up the chart, I’m going to have a little lie down.

Business™ Guy: Hey, no — we-

Me: And tell Bonzo when he’s done we can set up a desk for the llama to start coding. This Ganttttttttt stuff is awesome, man. Real “eye of the tiger blood” bum-humping stuff. See you tomorrow! Go, project!

I don’t know if we got anywhere on the project. Hell, I don’t even remember what the project is, any more.

But I got to leave work at a quarter after one in the afternoon to come home and take a nap. That pretty much makes these Gantt chartts my new best friends.

(Suck that, Venn diagrams! What have you stupid intersecting circles done for me lately, eh?)

And tomorrow, I’ll go back and learn more about this Business™ business. Seems like a real hoot. I should have given up actual practical work a long time ago, and hopped on board the Business™ train. Let’s commoditize the shit out of our strategy initiative, people! Commoditize it right in the caboose!

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “Gantt Never Did Anyttttthing”

  1. e-man says:

    osom!!!!!! banana pudding and autoreferential gnatt chart are my favorite!

  2. James says:

    Sounds like something straight from a Dilbert strip. Congrats and thanks for saying what we are all thinking.

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