The Storyteller

Wayne: "I won't even read his email unless I get a story." Joel: "Me neither."

Admins had to go through all sorts of gyrations to get a programmer’s attention.  I once sent out an email that had the subject line “Sex” just to get people to open an email about a mandatory department meeting.  It worked.  One programmer wrote back “Was it as good for you as for me?  Now I need a cigarette.”  Another threatened to sue me for sexual harassment!

The tech writers had a much more creative approach.  They told stories.


Jul 1 17:47 1991  Page1  layton.ccc.story

Joel wouldn’t even read this unless he knew he was going to get a story.  But first… In light of yesterday’s meeting, I thought it might be helpful to redistribute the CCC Design Documentation Checklist.  Asterisked files are placeholders; unasterisked files actually have some writing or drawing in ’em.  Look, I really don’t feel like going over placeholder files, the design doc template, the tgif template, the readme files, etc., etc., etc. again.  Instead, I’ll tell a story the Italians like to tell (and as told here by Luigi Barzini in “Memories of Mistresses”)…..

The story is told of a Milanese manufacturer who had a stormy time with his wife when she discovered he ran about with a girl who could almost have been his granddaughter.  A violent scene almost broke out at La Scala, on a gala evening a year or so ago when the wife save her rival in a box, splendidly dressed in ermines and covered with diamonds.  The husband pleaded, “Don’t be stuffy, darling.  Everybody in my position has a mistress.  Even my partner.  Do you want to see his girl?  She is sitting two boxes beyond mine…”  The wife pointed her mother of pearl binoculars at this other woman and looked at her for one long minute.  Then she turned to her husband:  “What a choice!  Vulgar, dressed in bad taste, loaded with cheap jewelry, and not pretty at all…”  And she added with pride, “Ours is so much better.”

So, I’ll redistribute the checklist, and good luck…

...greatest invention since hot knives and butter...
- leo v.

Next chance I get: The ballad of Sweet Faced Alma (some admins have more clout than a CEO!)

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