Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How to Dispose of an Intern

My company's software development process adheres strictly to the agile development method which includes test first development. So, of course, I had finished my production code and needed to write some simple corner case tests before I checked in all of my code. Now I really love to write tests, but for some reason other more important things kept popping up. I had just finished clearing the papers from my desk, windexing my monitor, vacuuming the office, detailing my keyboard and finding escapee peanuts and M&Ms hiding under my desk when I realized I badly needed to organize my desk drawers. My hardware drawer was particularly disheveled with random cables and old computer hardware in various states of not working.

I started taking inventory of all the hardware in the drawer. One 5 year old NVIDIA card, a joystick, two 104 key keyboards one with 94 working keys, the other with 97, one parallel port zip drive, oh and here is Roy's cell phone (I should give that back to him), and about 500 USB cables. At the bottom of the drawer, I found two power supplies and a loose sticker with the words, "Not working". You never know when you need an extra power supply, especially one that doesn't work, but as you know, it's very important to mark the broken one. That way, you know which power supply to give to Nick when he asks (remember to remove the sticker before giving it to him).

So there I was, in the awkward position of having two power supplies and not knowing which was working. Being an experienced engineer, I knew the one person who could help me in this situation, was Jimmy the intern. The conversation went something like this:

"Hi Jimmy, I have two power supplies here, but only one of them is dead. Could you help me out?"
"I don't know.. I'm not sure of the best way to.."
"Don't worry about that, I have it covered.. Put this end to your tongue, and I'll plug it in. Let me know if you feel anything."


Jimmy flew back six feet and hit the floor rather like a shovelful of wet cement.

"Great form! I'll give that a 9.5... Jimmy? Jimmy you can get up now.. Jimmy?"

I found a long wooden dowel rod in the back closet and poked him a couple times, but no movement. I placed my hand about an inch above his mouth and nose, being careful not to actually touch him, just in case his newbie stupidity were to rub off on me. Feeling no air movement, I realized,

I killed the intern.

Now many of you may think the proper procedure at this point would be to dial 911. I can assure you, this is far too much effort for an intern. Besides, that would just increase your health insurance premiums. As a service to my readers, I will go over the proper intern disposal procedure.

  1. Go through the pockets of your expired intern for any loose change, and mobile tech. You can never have enough iPhones.
  2. Find a very large trash bag. Make sure the plastic is very strong, since management likes to skimp on such things without realizing the necessity of sanitary intern disposal. If your management will only provide you with the cheap stuff, you will need to double bag.
  3. Stuff the expired intern into your trash bag(s) and drop him in the dumpster. Be careful moving him. The last thing the company needs is an engineer with a bad back. Remember to lift with the knees.
  4. Finally, don't forget to inform HR, that the intern has been moved to a top secret off site location, and though it is out of the way, you will be picking up his pay checks and taking them to him from now on. Don't forget to find a sample of the intern's signature before trashing his stuff and turning his office into your private game room.
In this case, management at my company did go with the cheap bags, and while I was slipping the second bag over Jimmy, I noticed some movement.

I quickly leapt into action, and created an air-tight seal on the bag. Unfortunately, Jimmy was able to break through the plastic.

"Damn cheap plastic"


"What happened?! My face is all tingly.. Why am I in this bag."
"We found the working power supply"
"Oh yeah.. I thought I was going to die. My whole life flashed before my eyes. I realize now.. I played way too much Zelda"

Back in my office once again with now properly labeled power supplies, I put everything back into my hardware drawer, and I'm ready to work on those tests.

Damn! That software drawer needs organizing.

1 comment:

Andy said...

"Be careful moving him. The last thing the company needs is an engineer with a bad back. Remember to lift with the knees"

That's absolutely priceless :)