Shorthand, longdiscussion

Barry Hennessy

“Bing!”

7:14pm and I’m still stuck, staring at Slack1.

“No! When you pay the status should be ‘RESERVED’”

“Didn’t you just say it was a number??”

“That’s the other status. Just make sure it’s ‘RESERVED’”

“Ok, sure. Reserved. Got it. So what about the other status?”

“Which one?”

“Didn’t you just say there’s another one?”

“Oh, that other one, yeah. That can be anything between 0 and 5”.

“Anything?”

“It depends on the status.”

“But that’s ‘RESERVED’. Isn’t it?”

“No!”

“What!?”

“Not that status. The other one. The shipping one.”

I need to move this project forward. Until we nail this down we’ll all be blocked for another day.

“Sorry, no. That’s what I meant, I was talking about the other status. Sorry.”

“Everybody stop.”

“Stop?”

“Yes, I don’t think anyone has understood anything for about 10 mins”

“I’m sorry. How late is it over there in Berlin?”

Late enough that I’m wondering why I care so much.

Is it possible to ‘catch your breath’ in a text only conversation? If it is then that’s exactly what I did.

I guess I care because they’re trying to explain. I can feel their dispair mingling with my own.

“Ok, new rule.”

Nobody is allowed to use the word ‘status’. We’ve been at this for - it must be an hour now - and I’m still not sure how many statuses we’re talking about.”

“All I know is that they’re all somehow dependent on eachother”

“So no more ‘status’, and no more shorthand. Use your words.”

“Can we please try that?”

This is it. This is the last hurrah before I give up. I think I have these ‘statuses’ nailed down. I think.

I finish up my table of all the options, what goes where and when. I make sure to put a noun before my ‘statuses’. Order status, payment status, shipping status…

I fire off my email.

I’m beginning to wonder when the office gets locked at night.

“Bing!” It’s my email client this time.

Yes!! That’s it. That’s everything

Finally.

Finally.

I close my laptop and rub my eyes. I let the relief wash through me for a moment.

When does that good kebab place close again?


  1. Slack is an instant messaging client. Basically a souped up WhatsApp for work.