Elections, elections ...

    John sat and stared blankly at the monitor, which contained a spreadsheet with tasks. He himself did not know what he was trying to see there - he just leafed it up and down, tried to peer at the letters, read the words, but could not understand what he wanted to achieve. Two days have passed since the funeral of the scrum board, but nothing happened.

    Two tasks have a mark of accomplishment - aha, this is Tom, his tasks. For the rest - silence.

    - So, gang. Said John loudly. - What did you do for two days?

    The programmers broke away from the computers, looked at the boss, then at each other, but no one dared to speak first.

    - I ... I closed two tasks. - uncertainly start Rebecca. - Here, right now ... I drew a button, with a handler, and another ...

    - Beck, stop. - John got up from his chair. - What do you mean by saying "closed"?

    - Well ... I did.

    - A mark where?

    - What is the mark?

    - On implementation, in our spreadsheet, where all tasks now lie.

    - Ah, so I thought ...

    - What?

    “Sorry, Johnny ...” Rebecca began to blush. - I forgot, probably ...

    - Who else forgot? Harry, what have you got?

    - I have ... - Harry began, for some reason, to rummage on his desk. - Right now ... There are no closed tasks yet, I ...

    - What?

    - Do not finish it yet, in short.

    - What exactly? What problem are you solving?

    Harry looked at him, bewildered, with large, round eyes. But, having understood that it would be necessary to answer the question after all, he again looked at the monitor.

    “I ... I'm doing this.” - Harry pointed to the monitor. - Price index.

    - Right?

    - Well, yes ...

    - I think you just came up with it. - John suddenly smiled, looked at Harry for several seconds, then looked up at the others. - Guys and girls, you did not forget that we have a crisis? And every minute counts?

    “No, Johnny ...” Harry began. - Just, you know ... Without a skram-board it is unusual somehow. There was a backlog, a clear list of tasks for the week, and we knew exactly what to do. And now - a hefty table, and what to choose - the devil knows.

    John squinted, fell silent, and looked at Harry again. The rest looked at the head. In addition to Tom, of course - he, as always, sat in his headphones and did not participate in the conversation.

    - Okay. - finally said John. - Let's do that. Rebecca, and the others who have closed tasks - mark the execution in the table. Let's see what is left of us, and this is ... Tom!

    Strangely enough, he heard, took off the headphones and calmly stared at John, waiting for instructions.

    - Tom, now everyone will be noted, and you count me the speed in points for two days. Good?

    - Good. Everything?

    - Not. Let's do it this way - well, that is, not specifically you, this is all about - check the table for the tasks that you are performing at the moment. So that I did not tug you, but I could look myself.

    - How exactly to mark? - asked Tom. - Add a column?

    - I think the color marker will be enough. The artist is there, just mark the current task, I do not know ... Yellow. Good?

    Everyone nodded except for Eugene — he was silent, and there was a condescending smile on his face.

    - Why are you crying? - addressed to Eugene John. - Do you understand the order?

    - Got it. - Eugene nodded, even wider smile.

    - So that's great. - John nodded in response. “Where's Chris?” The third day disappears ...

    - Today should be. - jumped Rebecca. “He is escorting his grandmother to the airport.” Soon must drive up.

    - Grandma to the airport? And where for three days?

    - With Grandma. - Becky said uncertainly. - She is from Russia.

    - Oh, right, I forgot. - embarrassed John. “Chris is a Russian ...”

    Suddenly, the door to the office opened, and he went in — or rather, fell in — Chris. Thirty-five years old, plump, with slightly slanting eyes, dark-skinned, with tinted glasses and with strange mustaches, not very suitable for his age.

    - Hello, lads! - Chris spread his arms to the side, as if he wanted to hug everyone at once. Tom did not notice the appearance of a colleague, Harry smiled and nodded, Eugene just watched and did not even blink. Becky jumped up from the chair again, ran over to Chris, and crawled around to hug.

    - Yes, you are my darling. “Chris didn't resist Rebecca's arms.” - John, great!

    - Went your grandmother? - smiled John.

    - Yeah. On a taxi almost went broke - they are fighting, damn it, like a tax.

    “Why didn't you go by train?”

    - Grandma on the train? No, she is brisk, of course, but the age is not the same ...

    - And what is the name?

    - Whom?

    - Grandma.

    - Why do you want it? Collecting the names of grandmothers, or what? - Chris laughed.

    - Yes, just wondering how the Russian grandmothers name.

    - Well, she is not entirely Russian ... Zulfiya is called.

    - How?

    - Damn ... Zulfiya Ramazanovna.

    - Clear. - John nodded. - Thank.

    - Handle.

    - Why are you called Chris? Some strange name for Russian ... Or do I not know something?

    - Oh, you do not know so much. - Chris smiled. - I changed my name when I moved to your America.

    - What is your real name? Asked John in a loud whisper. - Who do you work for?

    - In general, I - Radik.

    - Radik?

    - Well, yes, Radik.

    - Maybe we call you Radik?

    - No, I never get used to the new name. Chris, call me.

    - Okay. Becky, put Chris-Radik in the course of change, while I am driving me to the meeting.

    - Yes, yes, of course. - Rebecca nodded readily.

    John left the office, closed the door behind him and stopped. Thoughts all revolved around Radik, his grandmother and, in general, incredible turns in life. From the office came the muffled sounds of conversations - the words could not make out, but it seems that it was the voice of Chris. Only one phrase he heard clearly: “Uh, great, ghoul! Did you miss? ” John smiled, shook his head and went to the meeting to see Bob.

    The meeting, unfortunately, was delayed until late in the evening, although it did not do any good - they were discussing a portfolio of projects, a strategy for developing and entering new markets. Normal, boring, nothing decisive meeting. When it was over, and John returned to the office, no one was there.

    John poured himself a cup of coffee, and flopped into a chair. He opened the table with the tasks, and was unpleasantly surprised - only Rebecca noted the completed tasks, and the current, in the work - only Tom. In my heart, a mixture of two unpleasant feelings - managerial impotence and anger - stirred up. Well your mother, what is with people? After all, he gave a simple task, what is the problem again? Do not understand the situation? Although ... Maybe they really do not understand? Well, to hell with them, let's figure it out in the morning ...

    In the morning, John arrived at the office early - no programmer was there yet. The mood was lousy - the evening did not get rid of sad thoughts. It is clear that objectively no one in the team, except him, needs any special changes. And, most likely, for the remaining time - less than a month - nothing can be done, at least by conventional methods. But he didn’t want to give up, especially since he had nothing to lose, so John took the simple and right decision to take on the tasks himself. Maybe even a personal example can inspire the team.

    John scrolled through the list of tasks - he watched everything, since in the column “Artist” his name never appeared. A minute passed, a second, five, ten, fifteen ... Inside, an unpleasant feeling of senseless loss of time flared up, which only increased the internal tension. Mind John understood that you just need to select a task and start doing it. But he could not choose.
    Only some task will appeal to him, and he will decide to start implementation, as another will come across his eyes, and he, as if not owning his own attention, begins to read it, delve into it, and reflect. It's been half an hour already.

    The strangeness was compounded by the fact that all the tasks, in general, John knew - there were not so many of them. But he could not tear himself away from ... What? Reading tasks? And not just from reading - but from repeated re-reading of the same words. Again and again he returned to the previous tasks, for which he had already made the decision to not do it. But what if? Or maybe all the same ...? No, something must be solved! It's been 45 minutes.

    All right! I take the first available! Damn, ten tasks fit into the screen, another one has to be chosen ... First on the list! What is there? Authorization through social networks. Okay, why not.

    John opened the development environment, uploaded the latest changes, rebuilt the project. I started debugging, looked at the authorization form, figured out where to place the social networking buttons, and climbed into the code.

    The main authorization component was borrowed, but contained code written by someone from John’s team. By whom? Rummaged in the history of change, found - Eugene. Damn, why borrow? And, though ... Yes, everything is not so simple there, Eugene told me - not only authorization is needed, but also the creation of a database for each user, to do it longer. Okay, something must already be done!

    John re-read the problem, and again plunged into the code. Eugene did not particularly bother to comment, while the code was in active development - he said that there was no point, you never know, all of a sudden everything changes. His code was concise, sometimes too, it took quite a long time to understand it. How it is Rebecca - writes, as if embroidering a cross, beautifully and slenderly. Although not always optimal.

    A hand suddenly appeared on the right. John was so carried away that he did not notice Tom who entered the office - he came up and extended his hand to greet him. Without looking up from the monitor, John shook his outstretched hand and plunged into the code again. He glanced at his watch — an hour and a half had passed. Well your mother ... One and a half hours, and not a single line of code.

    The more time passed, the more nervous John was. In a rush, trying to start somehow, he wrote two lines of code with the initialization of the button components. I looked at them for a few minutes until I realized that this code was not the place here, and fiercely erased it. The impotent rage on oneself began to have a physical effect on the body — an unpleasant feeling appeared in the chest, as if something very much wants to jump out of there, but it simply cannot, because there is no way out.

    John leaned back in his chair, closed his eyes and thought.

    - Sleep, or what? - Chris's voice came out of the darkness. - Soldiers get up!

    John opened his eyes and saw a smiling mustache face. He smiled, shook his hand, and looked at his watch again. Two hours have passed.

    Chris was followed by the rest, apparently traveling together on the same train. Harry, dressed as usual, silently greeted and walked to his seat. Eugene was frowning, leaked to the computer, and stared at the monitor. Rebecca attentively, and somehow timidly looked at John, as if trying to catch his mood. Seeing that the boss was darker than a cloud, she began to speak.

    “John, we had a problem yesterday with your assignment.” She said softly. - You said to note the tasks that are now in work, but we have questions ...

    - What kind? Asked John in a weary tone.

    - Let's see the list, I'll show you. - Rebecca sat next to John. - Here, look. At first, I wanted to take this one, and Eugene said that it was too early - there was no point, as long as there was no authorization. Then I chose between these two, and ... So, wait, I will remember, I wanted to ask something ...

    - Couldn't you choose? - smiled John.

    “No, don't you think, I ...” Becki began to explain hotly.

    - Yes, I know. He himself spent two hours, protupil with the choice of the task.

    - Why blunt something! Shouted Chris. - Work from fence to dinner!

    - What is this method?

    - Good old army control method! - Chris answered. - The main thing is to occupy a soldier with something so that he does not hang around idle. Took a shovel, and dig.

    - What are you digging?

    - What's the difference! Trench!

    “Why before dinner?”

    - How else?

    - Well, until you dig ...

    - And then what?

    - I do not know ... Another task set.

    - What for? Who wants to mess around, think, choose? The ensign has enough worries, he has no time to deal with management. And God forbid give the soldier the will to choose.

    - Wait, what are you talking about? - frowned John. - And then the army? Have you seen enough movies, or what?

    - What? - Chris smiled. - You watch films about the army, and I served there!

    - where? In Russia?

    - Well, where else ... Two years, as expected.

    - And do you, in the army, dig something from the fence to dinner?

    - Well. The main thing is to set an endless task so that the soldier’s brain doesn’t turn on at all. He took a shovel - and forward, until the release is announced.

    - And if the task is not one, but several?

    - What the fuck is the difference ... You turn several tasks into one infinite - do everything that is written in the list, from the first point to the last.

    “Until death do you part ...” John smiled.

    - No, this is not necessary ... But the release and lunch - holy.

    John thought, looking at the radiant smile that glowed under Chris's mustache. Some thought began to turn in my head, but in no way took on a form in which it could be expressed. John's gaze fell on Tom - he, as always, sat and just worked.

    - Tom! - John called, but there was no reaction. Chris shook his colleague on the shoulder, and he took off the headphones. - You did not serve in the army?

    - Not. - he answered shortly and without emotion.

    - I watched the list of tasks in the morning, you are the only one who highlighted the one in work.

    The others, hearing John, lowered their eyes, even Chris's smile became a little guilty. Only Eugene watched as if nothing had happened.

    - You said to mark the current task, I noted. - calmly said Tom. - What is the question?

    - How did you choose the task?

    - Took the first one.

    - Just the first?

    - Yes.

    - So what is next?

    - Sat down to do. I have already finished, by the way. Execution noted.

    - Chose the next?

    - Yes.

    - You are our verbose. - smiled John. - Which one did you choose?

    - The second.

    - Let me guess ... When you make the second, will you join the third?

    - Yes. - not at all embarrassed, answered Tom.

    - And what is there in the third problem?

    - I do not remember. - Tom frowned. - Who cares?

    - In terms of? No difference?

    - So you outlined the purpose and problem. It is necessary to make all the tasks from the list. Per month. Artist everywhere affixed. I filter by myself, I see my list, I do it in order. What's wrong?

    - And if you need to make the fourth first to fulfill the third one?

    - I'll do the fourth one first.

    - And you will not be tormented by the choice?

    - What?

    - Yes, you will not ... Thank you, Tom!

    - Everything?

    - Everything.

    Tom plunged into work again. John, for some reason, felt a sharp surge of sympathy for this guy.

    - Eugene! Said John loudly. - And what task are you doing?

    - Not decided yet. - he said confidently. - I am not in the army to perform stupidly. I am a programmer, I have to think.

    - What to think about? What task to do?

    - Including. The sequence of problem solving is extremely important, and its construction is part of engineering practice.

    “Here is a ghoul ...” Chris smiled. - We were talking about yesterday?

    “What did you talk about yesterday?” - asked John. - And when?

    - When you left for the meeting. - Chris answered. “Eugene, you're certainly a cool guy, but - a ghoul.”

    Eugene smiled strangely, but did not respond. From the side it might seem that a conflict was brewing, but John knew that these guys had known each other for a long time, and even were friends, including outside the company, so he did not worry.

    - Why ghoul? - asked John.

    - Because only a ghoul can choose a task all day. - Chris laughed. - People have a short life, they have a lot of time to make, and the ghoul doesn’t care, it’s an eternity before him. Maybe even a week to choose a task, then to do it in an hour.

    - A week?

    - Well, what? - shrugged Chris. - How many days ago did you invent your table?

    - Today is the third day.

    - Are there many tasks for Eugene noted? Well, as fulfilled.

    - None.

    - What do you think, why?

    - Well, he probably does some big task ...

    - No, he made the election. He has his own system there. Eugene, show me!

    - I will not. Said Eugene. - This is my know-how. And you are not interested ...

    - Wait. - interrupted him John. - What did you do for three days?

    - Ranked the tasks of urgency, importance, looking for dependencies between them, to build ...

    - So, I didn't do any dick?

    “I told you what I was doing ... I chased tasks through the Eisenhower matrix to determine ...

    ” “How did you call your idleness?” Eisenhower Matrix?

    - This is not idleness. - Eugene started to get angry. - You can not just take and do, as on the conveyor. Need an algorithm, method, order.

    - I'll give you order right now! - raised his voice John. - See the column with the row number in the task list?

    - I see.

    - This is your order! From the fence, and before lunch! Now go to the table, mark the first task in color, and start the implementation!

    “I explained to you ...” Eugene began, but John interrupted him.

    - Listen, Eugene ... I understand everything, you are an experienced and very intelligent programmer. But three days to choose a task from the list is a bust! I do not blame you - I myself understand how exciting the choice can be. He himself spent two hours in the morning, without having written a single line of code - he chose everything, chose, chose ...

    - Cancel the fucking election right! - Chris laughed. - We enter the totalitarian system!

    - You said this with irony? - turned to him John.

    - Not! I’m talking to you about something since the morning: interpretation is evil! Especially for Eugene, who, as they say, grief from the mind.

    - What?

    - And, damn, I forgot ... read the classics. By the way, in America you can get Griboedov in English?

    - Who to get?

    - Okay, drove ... In short, let's cancel these elections. As in the army.

    - Choice is a very important process. - Eugene turned on again. - From its quality ...

    - Wait, how did you say? - interrupted John.

    - I said that because of its quality ...

    - No, before. Is selection a process?

    - Well yes. - Eugene frowned.

    - Here! - clapped John. - I understand what the problem is!

    “Come on, tell me ...” Chris said cautiously.

    - We used to look at the choice as a conditional operator in the algorithm scheme. - excitedly rattled John. - Well, remember, such a diamond is drawn, it has a condition of choice, and two branches - yes and no. When the algorithm is executed, the condition is checked instantly, so its performance is usually not taken into account.

    - Well, yes, usually it is. - Chris nodded. “Except when something heavy is written in the condition, such as a request or something.”

    - Yes, but basically the choice takes almost no time. And what is the choice made by man? This is not an instantaneous algorithm, but a process. This process has a beginning, an end (God forbid), and, most importantly, duration. How much do you think the task selection can last? And what is there to guess? A programmer can choose a task for several days, which Eugene clearly proved.

    - So he is a ghoul. - Chris smiled.

    - But there is not so simple! - continued John. - The selection process is bad because it is hidden from view. If a man loafed around the office, tossed from side to side, looked up in a draw, we would understand that he has a problem. But it is different. Again, like Eugene’s, he’s sitting stupidly, seemingly working, but in fact he is choosing! And this is only half the trouble ...

    - Yes, this alone is enough ...

    - No, not enough. - John shook his head. - I've suffered a lot in the morning, but I chose a task. And then you know what started?

    - What?

    - reconnaissance combat. I did not just read the condition, but I went into the code and looked at the code, dependencies, nonexistent comments of Eugene. I looked in order to evaluate the task "as it should", not by eye. If you catch a programmer doing this, he will say: I am a professional, and I cannot take on the task without knowing all the subtleties. It would seem, what is there? That's right, man does?

    “It seems so ...” Chris didn’t understand where John was going.

    - Of course, right. - exclaimed John, and raised his finger. - But, only if, according to the results of his research, he makes the final decision - to take on the task or not. If the programmer decided to take the task, and sat down to do it, then everything is fine. If he refused the task, then everything is bad. The time spent on research will be wasted! So it happened to me! I chose for two hours, picked the code, but did not proceed with the implementation. And I will not begin already - this task is more correctly given to Eugene.

    - And two hours - down the drain? - Chris smiled.

    - Exactly! I have two hours, Eugene has three days! And all - because of the election!

    “Well, from that point of view I didn’t look at my choice ...” Eugene suddenly said. - I tried to build an algorithm in order to ...

    - Algorithm of the selection algorithm? - smiled John.

    - Yes, he ghoul! Cried Chris.

    “No, Chris, you're wrong, Eugene is a great guy.” And spent three days is a great lesson for all of us, first of all - for me! All elections are canceled! From first to last, in order!

    - John, I have questions about the problem. - spoke Rebecca.

    - It's okay, Becky. The main thing - do not pull with questions. There is a question - just ask, we will decide on the spot. If the solution of your question related to the task takes a lot of time, we just give it to someone else.

    “Well, that’s what I wanted to offer ...” Rebecca hesitated. - There is a task more suitable for Chris ...

    - Let's get her here! - Chris responded. - I'll cut it in no time!

    - Good. Said Rebecca softly.

    - Well, all agreed? - appealed to all John.

    Everyone except Tom nodded back. John was silent for a moment, waiting for possible objections, but no one had broken the silence.

    - That's great! - clapped John. - Drive! From the fence to lunch!

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