The Expert (Short Comedy Sketch)

Our company has a new strategic initiative to increase market penetration, maximise brand loyalty, and enhance intangible assets. In pursuit of these objectives, we’ve started a new project — for which we require 7 red lines. I understand your company can help us in this matter. Of course! Walter here will be the Project Manager. Walter, we can do this, can’t we? Yes, of course. Anderson here is our expert in all matters related to drawing red lines. We brought him along today to share his professional opinion. Nice to meet you! Well, you all know me. This is Justine, our company’s design specialist. Hallo… We need you to draw seven red lines. All of them strictly perpendicular; some with green ink and some with transparent. Can you do that? No. I’m afraid we — Let’s not rush into any hasty answers, Anderson! The task has been set and needs to be carried out. At the end of the day, you are an expert. The term “red line” implies the colour of the line to be red. To draw a red line with green ink is — well if it is not exactly impossible, then it is pretty close to being impossible. What does it even mean: “impossible”? I mean, it is quite possible that there are some people, say suffering from colour blindness, for whom the colour of the lines doesn’t really make a difference. But I am quite sure that the target audience of your project does not consists solely of such people. So in principle this is possible. I’ll simplify. A line as such can be drawn with absolutely any ink. But if you want to get a red line, you need to use red ink. What if we draw them with blue ink? It still won’t work. If you use blue ink, you will get blue lines. And what exactly did you mean, when you talked about the transparent ink? How to better explain? I’m sure you know what “transparent” means? Yes, I do. And what a “red line” means, I hope I don’t need to explain to you? Of course not. Well… You need to draw red lines with transparent ink. Could you describe what you imagine the end result would look like? C’mon, Anderson! What do we have here, kindergarten? Let’s not waste our time with these unproductive quarrels. The task has been set; the task is plain and clear. Now, if you have any specific questions, go ahead! You’re the expert here! Alright, let’s leave aside the colour for the moment. You had something there also relating to perpendicularity?.. Seven lines, all strictly perpendicular. To what? Erm, to everything. Among themselves. I assumed you know what perpendicular lines are like! Of course he does. He’s an expert! Two lines can be perpendicular. All seven can’t be simultaneously perpendicular to each other. I’ll show you. This is a line, right? Yes. And another one. Is it perpendicular to the first line? Well… Yes, it is perpendicular. Exactly! Wait, wait, I’m not done. And a third one: is it perpendicular to the first line? Yes, it is! But it doesn’t cross the second line. They’re both parallel. Not perpendicular! I suppose so. There it is. Two lines can be perpendicular — Can I have the pen? How about this? This is a triangle. It’s definitely not perpendicular lines. And there are three, not seven. Why are they blue? Indeed. Wanted to ask that myself. I have a blue pen with me. This was just a demonstration — That’s the problem, your lines are blue. Draw them with red ink! It won’t solve the problem. How do you know before you’ve tried? Lets draw them with red ink and then let’s see. I don’t have a red pen with me, — but I am completely certain that with red ink the result will still be the same. Didn’t you tell us earlier that you can only draw red lines with red ink? In fact, yes, I’ve written it down here! And now you want to draw them with a blue ink. Do you want to call these red lines? I think I understand. You’re not talking about the colour now, right? You’re talking about that, what do you call it: per-per, dick-dick — Perpendicularity, yes! That’s it, now you’ve confused everyone. So what exactly is stopping us from doing this? Geometry. Just ignore it! We have a task. Seven red lines. It’s not twenty; it’s just seven. Anderson, I understand; you’re a specialist of a narrow field, you don’t see the overall picture. But surely it’s not a difficult task to draw some seven lines! Exactly. Suggest a solution! Any fool can criticise, no offence, but you’re an expert, you should know better! OK. Let me draw you two perfectly perpendicular red lines, — and I will draw the rest with transparent ink. They’ll be invisible, but I’ll draw them. Would this suit us? Yes, this will suit us. Yes, but at least a couple with green ink. Oh, and I have another question, if I may. Can you draw one of the lines in the form of a kitten? A what? In the form of a kitten. Market research tells our users like cute animals. It’d be really great if — No-oh… Why? Look, I can of course draw you a cat. I’m no artist, but I can give it a try. But it won’t be a line any more. It will be a cat. A line and a cat: those are two different things. A kitten. Not a cat, but a kitten. It’s little, cute, cuddly. Cats, on the other hand — It doesn’t make a difference. Anderson, at least hear her out! She hasn’t even finished speaking, and you’re already saying “No!” I got the idea, but it is impossible to draw a line in the form of a cat…ten. What about a bird? So, where did we stop? What are we doing? Seven red lines, two with red ink, two with green ink and the rest – with transparent. Did I understand correctly? —
— Yes. Excellent! In which case that’s everything, right? Oh, oh, I almost forgot, we also have a red balloon. Do you know if you could inflate it? What do I have to do with balloons? It’s red. Anderson, can you or can you not do this? A simple question. As such, I can of course, but — Excellent. Organise a business trip, we’ll cover the expenses, — go over to their location, inflate the balloon. Well this was very productive, thank you all! Can I ask one more question, please? When you inflate the balloon, could you do it in the form of a kitten? Of course I can! I can do anything, I can do absolutely anything. I’m an expert!

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100 thoughts on “The Expert (Short Comedy Sketch)

  1. Check out the new episodes of The Expert: Square Project!

  2. This happens all the time. The boss has unrealistic goals, and the expert says it can't be done and she refuses to listen. Then the deadline approaches, and she has no choice but to take whatever she can.

  3. I gotta love those "buzz words"…a new "STATEGIC" initiative. Let me puke! I have heard all of this before sitting in meetings with overpaid a$$holes that are leading the meeting and have no clue what they are doing.


  5. Too creepy…..reminds me of my corporate days trying to answer to management on their ridiculous needs…..yet all the while making me feel to be the idiot. Oh yes…..was also well-reflected in my annual review. So gut wrenching, I'm glad I'm an independent …….

  6. Notice when they told him to also inflate the balloons? Yes, he can do it. But it's not his job.. his job is actually designing the lines and the boss was like "can you do it or can you not?!"
    Yes he can, but it's not part of the job he signed for! And of course he can also make it shaped like a kitty, at the same time do the plumbing, be the courier and marketing all the same time. He have the skill but not the recognition!
    I don't know if it's just too relatable to me or the story also is about that..

  7. I am a software engineer developing graphical user interfaces mostly for embedded systems.
    This is the story of my life, sadly, almost word for word.

  8. I've been in meetings like this.
    I've been assigned tasks like this.
    And worse.
    You have no idea how MUCH worse.

  9. I worked at an advertising agency and this is what a meeting between the customer (BofA) and our developers was like when they were trying to develop a new website.

  10. I have gone through all this. In the end I had to teach them engineering from the pre school because they never believe you.

  11. Working in an ad agency and dealing with clients everyday, I am feeling angrier and angrier as I watch the video. 🙂

  12. In socialist Poland there used to be a saying: "Whether you lay or you stand, you deserve 2 grand". I see the only difference between socialist etatism and corporate capitalism is that the latter has more fancy offices and cars

  13. This so close to my office it isn't even funny. (i am a software deployment supervisor)
    This is happening on 80% of the meetings

  14. dispatch: Scott can you take a load of frieght from Michigan to Toronto? I know you only have twenty hours of service left on your clock and you asked for time off tomorrow, but we really need this done?

    me: sure if you don't have anyone else available, its not like I asked for time off a month in advance so I could make personal plans or anything for something important. (not to mention ill get fired if I don't go)

    dispatch: thanks man I really appreciate this.

    Truck driving sucks.

  15. Works for me as an analogy of the Brexit process. The majority know what they want and are determined to get it, whatever the alleged obstacles. The minority (and experts) are left baffled, bewildered and helpless.

  16. Very well done. It's funny and spot on. Unfortunately it represents the actual thing that is wrong with the way we work.. The more I think about the worse I realize things are. All the examples in your series show the same. Good job!

  17. Perfect. The only thing they missed: Tell the expert to get started right away and look at the others and ask "where we going for lunch"?

  18. well technically, if you could somehow make a program capable of conceptualizing a 7-dimensional space, you could put all 7 lines through each other perpendicularly, because with each added dimension you can put 1 more line through the intersection while maintaining perpendicularity.

  19. Yea.. This speaks for current modern society. Hence why many company are making losses and burdening the society with inflated price product.

  20. Shortly:Task is incorrect,but nobody from management undestand it,and managemant forces specialist to do this bullshit.

  21. I feel like this is a real conversation with people in 2019.

    I understand you want to be a red pen, but you were born a blue pen, you can change the cap, the lid, but the ink remains the same.

  22. I would have made a fake fart and sarcastically reply that I am too incompetent for such a business-potent group after the first five minutes.

  23. To draw 7 perpendicular to Each other lines… it would take to draw them in a higer dimention… simple isn’t it?

  24. OMG, this is so true!! I have been in so many meetings like this!! FOR REAL! I am an engineer and this is so commonplace in meetings with clients.

  25. In a 7 dimensional universe all 7 lines can be perpendicular. And light reflected off green ink can be made to appear red if the Doppler shift is great enough.

  26. Amount of times I've sat in meetings with gormless business idiots who know fuck all about anything and tried to educate them about software development and they act much the same as this. 🙄

  27. I am raging as I watch this. This is what it's like being a clinician administrator dealing with non clinician administrators or KPIs set in the stratosphere that do not result in actual performance or advantage to patients. There's a reason healthcare is described as a "complex system" even in non-clinical administrative literature.

  28. This is exactly how meetings with colleagues go who have to decide something but do not understand their decision and who do not understand why this decision cannot be fulfilled.

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