Do you know about smokejumpers? They’re brave, self-sufficient firefighters who parachute into remote areas wearing eighty pounds of gear and ready to fight a forest fire. If the jump goes well, they land safely. After extinguishing the fire, they may have a ten-mile hike out. It’s not a job for the faint of heart, slow of mind, or weak of back.
Have you considered that you may be a smokejumper?
“Why doesn’t my manager listen when I explain the details?”
“Why doesn’t the developer just give me what I ask for?”
If you’ve ever heard these complaints—or made them–you’re not alone. Questions like these are a symptom of a communication disconnect.
Models are like kitchen utensils. You need a variety of them, and you should know when and how to use them. They should be useful for more than a single task. I recently started exploring the first explicit model I learned years ago.
“Don, the software’s locked up again! Can you come up here tomorrow and fix it?” George was on the other end of the conversation. George and I had started working together when his employer moved a production line from Florida to Virginia.
The more he thought about it, the more he felt trapped. The more trapped he felt, the more he wanted out. The more he wanted out, the more he felt trapped. And around, and around his feelings traveled in a vicious circle of trapped and wanting out. But there wasn’t anyway out.
I’m not surprised when the first words I hear are “Something’s wrong, can you come and take a look?” What did surprise me was Saturday and at home.