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Time Is Money

So there we all are, the Boss, the Customer, a couple of the Customer's minions and yours truly, all seated around a long table in the Customer's high-tech conference room. The Customer is talking around an evil-smelling  cigar and waving his hands around energetically, the Boss is listening patiently, and the minions are grinning idiotically at each other. I have long since tuned out of the conversation, and am currently attempting to figure out which movie to rent over the weekend.

Outside, it is a sunny April morning, the kind to make you think of picnics in shady gardens and poolside barbecues in the long evenings. Inside, all hell is about to break loose.

"...and both HRD and I would be very interested in seeing those numbers," says the Customer, pausing for a minute to puff some smoke and then jabbing his cigar at the Boss. "But the question is, can you guys do it for us, and how soon can we see a prototype?"

The Boss turns to me and asks politely, "Well?"

What on earth does the man want? No time to figure it out, better stall...

"Sure," I mumble, trying to sound as though I'm giving the matter great thought, "but perhaps we could backtrack a bit and go over the requirements in detail..."

"No, no", says the Boss impatiently, "I think the requirements are quite clear. They need a simple timesheet application so that they can analyze employee hours and bill clients appropriately. It's not a big deal, but they need it in...three days, right?," this to the Customer, who's now gone back to blowing smoke rings at the ceiling.

"Well," says the Customer with a smirk, "as soon as possible, actually."

"So, will we be able to deliver in that time frame?," says the Boss, giving me his look, the one which reads "say yes or else..."

"Of course," I say, just like a good soldier. "Absolutely no problem," I assure the room at large, smiling at the Customer's cigar. "What have I done?," I ask myself silently.


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