A Fictional Map Day – The Close

‘Talk the talk and walk the walk’ is a common phrase in the American language, which, by the way, is a warmer and delightful version of British English, which in turn is regarded by many scholars as one of the most depressing languages to have ever been devised by humans. This also reveals the common, albeit mistaken, notion that British people are actually humans. They are not.

The people in our conference room were all humans and they, at this moment, looked very tired and a bit uneasy. They have been inside this conference room for more than 6 hours now and their almost ergonomic chairs were delivering low but consistent doses of sharp pain to their spines which made them alter their postures slightly and frequently and this only caused the pain to shift to other areas like the neck and the butt. The time on the large old-style wall clock showed that it was ten minutes to four in the evening and whoever that looked up to see the time let out an audible sigh. There were numerous audible sighs throughout the room. That is when the lady said, ‘Let’s Walk The Wall’.

If you hadn’t noticed, we just joined the seemingly unconnected threads from the last two paragraphs into a single context that we can work with for the rest of the article. The first thread is the common American phrase ‘Talk the talk and walk the walk’ and the second thread is that lady announcing ‘Let’s walk the wall’. Two very similar phrases and one of them is a poorly amusing play on the other. Thought you should know.

The phrase ‘Walk the wall’, involves, more or less precisely, the following events:
One member from one of the groups mentioned, in some detail, in the last article, gets up to the giant weekly calendars covering the walls with Sprint Task Slips stuck to them on a weekly timeline. The member, lets call him/her, a person, walks to one end of the wall where the first ‘Sprint Task Slip’ for that person’s group is present. Then the person explains the task that is scribbled on the slip and then how long it might take to finish that task. For instance, one person could say – ‘The task is to route instrumentation events through service bus in JSON format. It will take one and a half weeks’. And then the person scans the room to see if any one asks any questions about whatever it was that the person just said. If someone raised a question, the person has to answer it satisfactorily. If after more than three attempts the person could not convince the concerned questioner, that task is ‘parked’ – which is basically ripping out that Sprint Task Slip from the calendar and sticking it to a large and brightly pink chart on which someone with good calligraphy skills had already written ‘PARK’ with a sharpie. Then the person, seething with rage directed at whoever asked that damned question, somehow masks it and proceeds to explain the next Sprint Task Slip under his group’s name and then bravely confronts further questions and so on. He does so from the first slip to the last one, starting at one end of the wall eventually reaching the other end. This encompasses the serious process called ‘Walk the Wall’. And every group in the room has to participate in it.

Again, these are serious people doing serious stuff and are getting paid for it.

By the time all the Sprint Task Slips were spoken for and all the related questions were fielded heroically, about ten percent of the Sprint Task Slips end up in the ‘Park’. Remember the ‘park’ here refers to the large pink colored chart that says ‘Park’ on it, not the public facility used for recreation and, in some cities, procreation. The groups that walked the wall early were probed more thoroughly than the groups that came later and it is yet to be confirmed by behavioral scientists whether that was because of the mysterious phenomenon called ‘getting tired of this sh*t’ syndrome. It is known to cause restlessness, frustration and pronounced boredom in serious professionals after being kept in a conference room for a full eight hours. Interesting side note – the same condition can be induced in small children in under 5 minutes, especially in classroom settings.

There are many ways in which this series of events can be brought to a close. There are many more ways in which the author can choose to end it. But nothing can really explain the swiftness and precision with which our hard-working professionals left the conference room. The lady did not announce ‘Go through the open door’ or they did not have to fill out an Exit Action Slip and stick it to the wall chronologically. It was twilight outside and people did what people do best.

They simply exited the building.

[yep. done. no more.]

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[Post: 226 of 365] [Days Missed: 65]

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