Jake Vinson

Aug 2009

Double-Standard Operating Procedures

by in Feature Articles on

"I write these SOPs for a reason," Ken barked, "and that reason isn't just so you can violate them!" Ken had the attitude of a drill sergeant from basically any movie with a cliché terrifying drill sergeant. In a previous career, Ken was a naval officer, and his rigid adherence to well-defined procedures was unshakable.

Ken was working for a clinical research company's central office in Ohio, where he struck fear into the hearts of his team, most of which were in a satellite office in Arizona. They frequently violated procedures, generally because they were unaware of the procedure being broken – and Garrett M. was the one that Ken watched most closely. He'd get his team following SOPs to the letter or die trying.

The Longest Yard and a Half

by in Feature Articles on

Owein R. knew that security at the government facility was going to be a big deal, but it wasn't clear how big a deal it was going to be until he started his job.

To get anywhere in the facility, you needed a pass, and these were granted on a least-permissive basis. Even if your clearance was high enough, you still needed a pass to get into certain areas. To be granted access to a restricted area, you either had to have a pass, an appointment, or to be escorted at all times by someone with a pass – this included lunch and bathroom breaks.

Nerds, Jocks, and Lockers

by in Bring Your Own Code on

Mr. Zargas was the zany math teacher at Cliffmont High that everyone seemed to love. Whether you were a nerd or a jock, he made mathematics interesting, challenging, and fun to learn. That, in and of itself, was impressive enough, but Mr. Zargus took it one step further. When it came time for his frequent "Mathematical Battle of Wits," he would let the jocks use their brawn instead of their brains. The nerds never stood a chance, especially when it came to his "locker challenge."

The rules of Mr. Zargas' locker challenge were simple. Corridor G was a long-since abandoned section of Cliffmont High that a row of 100 unused, empty lockers. If you "toggled" the state of each locker (i.e. opening it if its closed, closing it if its open) in the following manner, which lockers would remain open?

  1. Every single locker is toggled (since all lockers start closed, this means each one is opened).
  2. Every other locker is toggled (in this case, closed), starting with the second.
  3. Every third locker is toggled, starting with the third.
  4. Every fourth locker is toggled, starting with the forth.
  5. ...
  6. The hundredth locker is toggled.

Slowing Time

by in Feature Articles on

David's phone was ringing as he walked in the door, and there were four voice mails on his phone already. Before sitting down, he scooped up the phone. "G'morning, this is David."

"Yeah, hi David, this is Jan. I'm sure you're already aware of the intranet issues?" He listened idly to her description of the issue while he opened Outlook, seeing several new emails popping into his inbox. The subject lines were troubling.