Star Trek Analogies to Engineering Management

It amazes me how often my management experiences remind me of Star Trek episodes. A good example came up today. At extremely regular intervals, I must prepare budget reports that document the spending of my department. If I am late, I receive emails that progressively get nastier until I feed the accounting monster. While preparing this budget report today, one of my senior engineers asked me what I was doing. I told him that I was feeding Vaal. For the uninitiated, Vaal is a machine from Star Trek that a group of primitive people were obligated to bring food to every day. A loud bong is struck when Vaal needs to be fed. When Vaal was denied food for any significant length of time, he got really nasty (e.g. generated storms, threw lightning bolts, etc). The analogy is just too good.

Figure 1: Vaal from Star Trek. Its behavior is similar to that of my budget minders.

Figure 1: Vaal from Star Trek. Its behavior is similar to that of my budget minders.

 
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