Admit One

Admit One

Jul 16, 2019


A twilight landscape

Robots making scary dreams

A two for one deal

— from Theresa


The Dave called a meeting with entire development team, at about 10am this morning. While this wasn’t terribly abnormal - Dave was in and out of meetings with the team most days - and it was highly unusual for Fodder to be included in them. In fact, it had never happened, up until this point. Despite the fact he was a DevOps (developer + operations) engineer, The Corporation enforced a strict seperation of duties, and he knew very little about development’s daily scrum.

As it turned out, the meeting had nothing to do with work. It was a team-building excercise, and a mandate from Human Resources.

The basic premise was this: each member of the team was asked to think of two embarrasing and/or shameful secrets, regarding themselves. The first (secret A) was to be the worst, most humiliating memory they could think of. It was to be the kind of thing you wouldn’t tell your therapist - let alone a room full of your peers! It’s the kind of secret that keeps a person up at night.

The second (secret B) was to be something light-hearted and/or humorous. The kind of thing that you’d tell anyone, as an icebreaker or a personal anecdote.

Each employee was asked to write their secrets onto a small note, and place it into the appropriate envelope, labeled “A” or “B”. They were asked to hold onto envelope A (the embarrassing secret), while giving envelope B (the funny secret) to Dave.

One-by-one, The Dave sent each team member into the small conference room, where they would close the door, and sit alone. They were to do one thing: flip a coin, and exit the room - leaving their fate on the table.

If the coin landed on heads, then the employee must tell secret A to the room - and humiliate himself in front of the entire team! If it landed on tails, then he must tell secret B - and share a self-deprecating laugh at his own personal history. To ensure nobody “cheated”, Dave would enter the room after each flip, to verify the position of the coin.

Over the next 20 minutes, employees would enter the conference room, and exit to give their results. One-by-one, Dave would read from the “Envelope B,” while probing the employee for more details about their humorous situation. The excercise quickly became a joke, as the laws of physics were literally broken, and 100% of coin flips landed on “tails.” The core of the excercise quickly became apparent. The Corporation was essentially showing us:

“Behind those doors, your fate is in your own hands. We are not going to force you to tell deep secrets. If you choose to cheat, and reverse a heads to a tails - we will never know. We gave you a way out of this. We protected you.”

Of course, when it came to Fodder, results were a bit different. When Fodder flipped his coin, while sitting alone in that conference room, it landed not on heads or tails - but on the edge! What are the chances???

He was now faced with a prediciment. Certainly, he could turn the coin to “tails,” and make this easy on himself. However…

Fodder looked across the room, to where a security camera sat positioned upon a tripod, at the far end of the conference table.

“…maybe they’re watching?” he thought, “Maybe this was some kind of test? Maybe there is actually some kind of weird physics manipulation taking-place, here?”

As 30 seconds became a minute, and a minute was quickly becoming two… Fodder decided to be honest, here. His situation was already so strange that, in the moment, honesty seemed to be the best “career move.” Even though it could be humiliating. Fodder decided to take his chances with the weird, sideways-flipped coin, sitting upon its edge. Fodder got up from his seat, and left the room.

“Well,” asked Dave, “What did you get?”

“See for yourself,” said Fodder, in a tone of calm dread.

Peering into the room, Dave quickly noticed the precarious coin, “A two for one deal, I see.”

Fodder nodded.

“Alrighty, then. It looks like we’re reading both…”

Fodder’s stomach dropped.

The Dave began with envelope B. Quickly opening it, he read to the room, “I once dropped a server on the floor of a datacenter.”

The room laughed in response. Fodder smiled sheepishly.

“Well,” Dave asked, “Did you admit your mistake?”

“I didn’t have to,” he replied, “It kept working.”

The room laughed again.

“Alright,” said Dave, pointing to envelope A, in Fodder’s hand, “It’s time for the big bad. Go ahead and read it to us.”

Fodder realized, again, that The Corporation was giving him a way out. He could make up whatever he wants to, here. They’re never going to see the note. He doesn’t have to tell them anything.

“But I probably should,” Fodder thought, while considering the bizarre month he’s had, “I’ll never build trust through lies.”

Fodder looked at his envelope, then looked at Dave. Rather than opening it, he handed the envelope to Dave, and said, “You do it.”

The Dave looked genuinely surprised. He opened the envelope, and read the note within. Then, he cleared his throat.

“JD, you’re up next,” he stated. FALSE


data.stats.symptoms = [
    - fear
    - shame


I’m fucked, you see

It’s the prophecy!

— from The Mayan Factor - “Son of Sam - Prophecy”


They will drop the tape.