|Thu 19th Mar '09 3:58PM
|7th Apr '03
| Me: Hi, I'm your IT system support worker for today! What can I help you with?"
SW: What is 2+2?"
Me: It's 4.
SW: Ah, ok, thanks."
(10 minutes later)
SW: Hi! Can you tell me what 2+2 is?
Me: Remember from earlier? It's 4.
SW: Ah, ok, thanks.
(20 minutes later)
SW: Can you tell me what 2+2 is?
Me: It's still 4.
SW: OK. And how about 2+2?
Me: That'll be 4 again.
(10 minutes later)
SW: What's 1+3?
Me: It's 4.
SW: So it's like 2+2?
Me: Yes, both are 4.
(The next day)
SW: Hello again! Can you sit with me today and explain what 2+2 is please?
Me: Sure! Here's a little handout I made for you explaining that the answer is, in fact, 4.
SW: OK.... so.... what is 2+2 again?
Me: It's 4.
Different SW: My colleague gave me this sheet you made. I wanted to check if 2+2 is 4.
Me: Yep, it's 4.
DSW: Ah, good. Can you show me on the system please?
Me: Certainly. Here you go... 4.
DSW: Only I thought it was 5.
Me: Nope, it's definitely 4.
DSW: Ah. OK. So what is 2+2 then?
Me: I think you'll find that's also 4.
Boss: Can you go and spend some time with the SW team please? They want you to do a
presentation on what 2+2 is.
Me: Sure thing. (Writes '4' on a large piece of paper & goes to train team)
Me: Hi team! I'm here today to tell you all the result of 2+2. It's 4.
SWs: How are we expected to understand that?! We have important jobs, we can't sit round all day adding 2 to 2!
Me: You'll need to take that up with your manager I'm afraid. In the meantime, just put 4 as the answer.
SWs: This is ridiculous. It's no wonder no Social Work ever gets done. Where do I complain?
Me: Here is a form ready for you to write all your complaints on, just add it to the stack in the corner there.
SWs: All we wanted to know is what 2+2 is.
Me: It's 4. See you next week!
(SWs leave grumbling)
SW: I heard 2+2 is 4 and I don't think that's right.
Me: OK. I hear your concerns, but I can assure you it really is 4.
SW: I'm going to check with my manager.
SW: My manager said it's 36.
Me: OK, I'll go have a word with her next. In the meantime, it's 4.
Me: Hello! Just wanted to make you aware of the fact that 2+2=4 as some of your team seem to have misunderstood.
Manager: 4?! This is typical of the total failure to listen to local concerns. It's all very well for the maths team to go around deciding 2+2=4 but how often have they had to deal with violent service users and unmanageable caseloads? I was invited to the maths pilot group and I made my views perfectly clear. As far as my team is concerned, 2+2=36 and I'm happy to take this to the directors if need be.
Me: OK, no problem, here is the email address of the director. In the meantime, it's 4.
[email circulated to all 870,000 staff in council]: Please be aware that 2+2 is 4. Considerable research and investment has been put into this result and it is very important
that all staff are made aware of this matter as a matter of urgency.
[Headline in Local Paper]: Social Workers blame new IT system for fundamental child protection failings! 'Our jobs are meaningless exercises in putting '5' in checkboxes, claims Social Worker"
SW: Hi! Can you spend some time with me again this morning? I need to know what 2+2 is.
Me: It's 4.
SW: But the papers said it's 5.
Me: I know, but it's actually 4.
SW: Well I don't know who to believe now.
Me: Me. Believe me. It's 4. Beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt, it really is 4.
SW: How do you know?
Me: I checked it with a calculator. Look, I made a diagram.
SW: There's no way anybody will ever understand that!
Me: Quite possibly, however the answer remains 4.
SW: Well there's no need to be irritable about it.
Union Rep: Gather round, opressed Social Workers! No longer will the council dictate to us
the result of 2+2! It's time to take action, stand up and be counted, and force this useless
labour government to acknowledge the fact that this sort of mindless adherence to procedure prevents Social Workers from arriving at their own results! Strike! Strike! Strike!
Me: But 2+2 really is 4. Pythagoras said so.
UR: Class Traitor! Who are you to force your views on the hardworking men and women who
protect our vulnerable children!
Me: Can I quit the union now please?
UR: No! We told you before, it's not allowed! Thatcherite scum! Now Strike! Strike! Strike!
Boss: I'd like you to go along to the newly formed Maths Steering Group to explain to them that 2+2 is 4.
Me: Okeydokey boss!
(In the boardroom)
Chair: We are gathered here today to put forward our proposals for the best practice model
of Social Work mathematics, considering all possible results of the equation 2+2 before
authoring a paper for the government entitled '2+2 and you: Your Right To Choose'.
Me: But it's 4.
Chair: That's the sort of blinkered attitude that prevents Social Workers from carrying out
Me: OK, whatever. Can we at least take down the large '2+2=19' poster?
[email circulated to all 870,000 staff in council]: Please be aware that whilst work continues to establish the result of 2+2, all Social Workers should be using the interim result of 4. As soon as we have a definitive answer on this matter an announcement from the director will be made.
SW: Hey, I just figured out what 2+2 equals!
Me: (without much hope) 4?
SW: No, it's 72! I've just been teaching all my colleagues too! They're all getting the hang of it now!
Maths team: It has come to our attention that SWs have been incorrectly using the result of
72 for the sum of 2+2. The training and support department is clearly not doing it's job
properly. Please retrain all support workers and roll out the correct answer forthwith.