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Alright, so you are a dishwasher and you do your job just fine.

And great news, the restaurant you work in is becoming THE restaurant in town.

To handle the volume you need to clean each dish within 30 seconds.

The pressure causes you to clean only the dishes that are easy to clean. Soup bowls come before ramekins with half-eaten Crème brûlée. This works for a while but it's self-defeating because not everyone is going to order soup and there is a growing shortage of clean "hard" dishes because you can only scrub so many of them to keep the chefs supplied. Eventually you are moving about 70% of the dishes in inventory at any given time and rarely used dishes have to sit filthy with their contents caking on until they are needed.

But Good news! Meet Jeb. He's the new dishwasher here to help. Efficiency! Except you have to stop and explain which dishes are easy and why they should come first. You have to share the sink, so you get a good helping of Jeb's rants about how things should have never gotten to this state and how nice the faucet was at the sink at the other restaurant.

In the interests of not making a scene in the kitchen and in front of any customers looking in, you smile and feed him a line of bullshit about how you understand and appreciate his thoughtful feedback. You'd rather just walk away and let him learn why being right doesn't buy him anything, but then you'd just be reprimanded. You and Jeb clean more and more until your moods match at a dead zone of benign acceptance thinly disguising your cynicism.

Still, part of you DOES understand Jeb. This SHOULD be simple. You pick a dish up, you scrub it until it's clean, and then you dry it. If only you could do that. If only the boss knew how hard you have to fight to do your job.

You privately go back and think about how much better things would be with some adjustments. Like, another sink. A dedicated dryer, be it person or a machine. Things that require investment, sure, but would more than make up for the value lost. You then remember that doing your job more efficiently would only bring more volume to perpetuate the cycle, assuming that you can even justify interruptions or reduced dish output to your boss.

You know that the root cause of your rush is really the customer's impatience and the business' fear of losing customers to a more convenient competitor, but that's not your job to fix. You are a dishwasher. You aren't here for the politics, you are here to wash dishes. But still you stew in a dance of wanting the power to fix what is broken while knowing you have no power to fix the most stubborn force on Earth: people.

You here a chef yell out that he needs 4 plates NOW (and not with spots on them this time, dammit), and you briefly fantasize about staring blankly into space, walking stiffly into a corner, dropping your pants, bending over, rumbling your butt cheeks, and blasting a thundershit like a 6-gauge all over the sink, the chefs, the food, fucking Jeb, and the customer body at large.

It didn't matter if you acted like a four-year old on amphetamines. The news would repeat your name for years as the dishwasher that wouldn't stand for the human condition as it stood, because the world needs to know that EVERY dishwasher's, no, EVERY WORKER's job would be simpler if it weren't for impatient consumers. And then things would change.

Pffffft lol. You laugh off your fantasy as the naive and selfish daydream that it is, then pick up the next soup bowl.

Now imagine everyone thinking this way, the dishes are invisible, the sink bowls are made of cracked cement, and the big customers will panic and attempt to raid the kitchen if they stop seeing food come out of the kitchen the instant they ask for it. And the boss asks you about your status every day while promising that you'll have time to clean the hard dishes one day.

This is Enterprise-level Software Engineering.

Comments
  • 3
    That's why agile, with its independent, self-organizing teams was proclaimed. You should be able to buy that machine you need as you are aware of your impact on the customer service. It should be your choice, not someone in the business, how to do your job.
  • 1
    Is there a software equivalent to a Hobart dishwasher?
  • 1
    @Demolishun SAP?

    Or being serious, I think the pc already is the dishwasher.
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