I got the joke below in an e-mail at work. Whoever originated this joke has a good handle on how things seem to work.
A man piloting a hot air balloon realizes he is lost. He spots a man
below, lowers the balloon and shouts:
“Excuse me, can you help me? I promised my friend I would meet him half an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”
The man below says: “Yes, I can help you. You are in a hot air balloon, hovering approximately 30 feet above a vacant field. You are between 40 and 42 degrees N. latitude, and between 58 and 60 degrees W. longitude, there is a 5 knot Southwest wind, and the air temperature is 75 Degrees Fahrenheit.”
“You must be an engineer!” says the balloonist.
“Yes, I am,” replies the man. “How did you know?”
“Well,” says the balloonist, “everything you have told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I am still lost. You have yet to help me in a meaningful way.”
The man below says, “You must be a manager.”
“I am,” replies the balloonist, “but how did you know?”
The Engineer replies:
- “You don’t know where you are or how to achieve your objective.
- You made a promise to someone with no idea of how to keep it.
- Now that you are in a desperate position, you expect me to solve your problem.
- Even more revealing is that you are in the exact same position you were in before we met, but have deluded yourself into believing that your situation is somehow my fault.”