Ever developed an App for Nokia 1100? You read that right. That is what my project manager asked me to do at my first job.

This incident is from sometime during the year 2012. It had been just a month or 2 since I had started working at this firm. It was also my first job.
1 day at the job the Manager calls Me in his office.

Manager: Hey sit down. There's this new thing that I'd like you to do some research on.

Me: Sure. What's it about?

Manager: Have you heard that GSEB(Gujarat Education Board) has come up with a new mobile application? They deliver students' result directly on their phone. I wanted you to do some research about it.

Me: So you want me to get some info on how to develop mobile application? If so, you have any domain in mind and any platforms that you want to target? As per my awareness, Android is very much in demand.

Manager: No no, any idiot can develop Android applications and mobile web applications. I can write a mobile app in 15 minutes.

Me: (thinking in his mind: WTF is he going to utter now?)

Manager: These GSEB people have made such a mobile application that works even on a Nokia 1100. You just have to activate your GPRS and install that application on the phone. You can install it on Nokia 1100 as well and you will get the results directly on the phone.

Me: Sir, if I may! Are you sure about that? Are you sure you are talking about an application that has to be installed on a phone and requires an internet connection like GPRS or Wi-Fi?

Manager: Were you even listening to what I told you? You freshers, when will you learn to listen? Don't you have any ethics? I'm the Project/Assistant Manager of this company. I told you what I just told you.

Me: With all due respect Sir, I heard every word of what you said. I just want to be sure whether it's actually an application that you are talking of. It's because you mentioned Nokia 1100. The phone doesn't allow installing an application and most certainly doesn't support GPRS or internet connection of any kind.

Manager: (Hint of frustration and ego in voice and the facial expression) So what are you trying to tell me? You think you are smarter than me? You think you have more know than me?

Me: Definitely not sir. I don't mean this in wrong way. But, I believe the new thing about the results delivery you are talking of, GSEB might be sending that via SMS.

Manager: I'm your manager. I know what I'm talking of. You are suppose to do what I say. Now go to your desk and find out how GSEB came up with this application.

One week later... In the manager's office.

Manager: It's been a week since I gave you a task. What have you been doing? What did you learn about the application that works on all phones, even a Nokia 1100?

Me: Sir, like I wrote in the email I sent to you that same day before I left the office, GSEB is sending results via SMS on the registered number of the students (or their parent). I also sent you some links in that email that gave some insights on the build and software of Nokia 1100. That phone and others like it don't allow applications to be installed and also don't support internet and GPRS services.

Manager: I'm not happy with the work you have done in this matter. I think you're incompetent. If it were up to me I'd fire you immediately.

Me: Sir, I'm sorry but do you have any idea to get what you're thinking done? If you have done some research, please share those documents with me and I can start fresh from there. I've done everything I could on my own in this case. If you share your knowledge about it and guide me I'll get the correct result.

Manager: No, I think you're not good enough to work on this. I'm putting you on another project. I've mailed you the details of that. Go now and start studying the documents.

Me: Sure sir. Not a problem. (Thinking, what an idiot. People make mistakes, I get that. But he could have earned my respect by letting this go instead of trying to unsuccessfully tell me I'm an idiot.)

Share you thoughts

To share your thoughts, you can simply fill in the form below and send me an email with your favorite email client/app.