“Uh, Jim. Can I see you in my office?”
“Sure thing, Ted.”
Jim’s torn gray t-shirt isn’t stained today, but it’s only 10 a.m.
Jeans and Birkenstocks round out his ensemble. He runs a hand over his
crewcut in an absentminded phrenology and sits in Ted’s comfy red
Even on days where he doesn’t see a client, Ted doesn’t wear a tee.
This year’s v-neck sweaters over shirt-and-tie makes his preppy little
heart sing. He also always wears smile. Not quite a plastic sales
smile but no matter how genuine it is, its omnipresence keeps you from
knowing where you really stand.
“You programmers. You’re a passionate bunch, aren’t you?”
“Aye, that we be.”
Jim launches into his explanation. “It be September 19th.” And stops,
expecting Ted to get it.
But Ted merely looks at Jim, blinking, so Jim gives a little more.
“The 19th of September, Cap’n. Talk Like a Pirate Day.”
As most people do on hearing this phrase for the first time, Ted
recognizes the words as English but doesn’t immediately pull meaning
from them. He can but echo Jim.
“Talk. Like a Pirate. Day.”
Jim beams at Ted’s newfound knowledge. “Aye matey.”
“I see. You don’t mind if I skip it, do you?”
“That be your choice, Cap’n. But ye should know, the whole crew is
a-yo-ho-hoing today. Arrrr.”
“See, Jim? This exactly what I’m talking about. Software development
is more than a job for you. You throw yourself into it with every
piratey bone in your body.”
“Aye. I try.”
“And you do a damned fine job of it too. Matey.”
“Why thank’ee Cap’n.”
“In fact, I found an old blog post of yours where you said that you
love software development so much that you’d program for free. Now
that’s what I call job satisfaction.”
Jim knows he’s off the map, and there be monsters here. He rallies,
“Well, maybe for some pieces of eight and a bottle of rum,” but his
ship has sailed.
“Don’t worry Jim. We decided it wasn’t leg-, uh, right, to pay you
nothing. But we are cutting your salary in half.”