It’s Christmas Eve, and that means we’re taking a little break from writing new articles. Starting next week, we’ll re-run all of the best articles of this year.

For today, though, while I was working on The Glitch Who Stole Christmas, I got a bit inspired, and maybe a bit carried away.
Instead of our usual fare, here’s something a little… different.

Every Dev down in Devville liked Christmas a lot…
But the PM who lived in the corner office did NOT!
The PM hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows his reason.
It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right.
It could be, that his project timeline was too tight,
But I think the most likely reason of all,
May have been that his brain was two sizes too small.

Whatever the reason, his brain or his sprint,
He stood there on Christmas Eve, squinting a squint,
Staring down from his desk with a sour, PM grimace,
At the cold dark monitors around the office.

For he knew every Dev down in Devville beneath,
Was busy now, hanging a mistletoe wreath.
“And they’re hanging their stockings!”“ he snarled with a sneer
”The milestone’s tomorrow! It’s practically here!“
Then he growled, with his PM fingers nervously drumming,
”I MUST find some way to stop Christmas from coming!"
For tomorrow, he knew, all the Dev girls and boys,
Would wake up bright and early. They’d rush for their toys!

And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise!
Noise! Noise! Noise!
That’s one thing he hated! The NOISE!
NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!

Then, the devs, young and old, would sit down to a feast.
And they’d feast! And they’d feast! And they’d FEAST!
FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!

They would feast on Soylent, and rare energy drinks,
This was something the PM couldn’t stand to think,
And THEN they’d do something he liked least of all!

Every dev down in Devville, the tall and the small,
Would log on together, network lights blinking.
They’d stand, lan-on-lan. And the devs would start playing!
They’d play! And they’d play! And they’d PLAY!
PLAY! PLAY! PLAY!

And the more the PM thought of this dev Christmas-thing,
The more the PM thought, “I must stop this whole thing!”
“Why, for twenty-three years I’ve put up with it now!”
“I must stop this Christmas from coming! But HOW?”

Then, he got an idea! An awful idea!
The PM got a wonderful, awful idea!

“I know just what to do!” the PM laughed with a hoot,
And then he ran a command and made a server to reboot.
And he chuckled, and clucked, “What a great PM trick!”
“With the server down, they’ll need to come back in, and quick!”
“All I need is an outage…” the PM looked around.
But, since load balancers are robust, there was none to be found.

Did that stop the old PM? No! The PM simply said,
“If I can’t make an outage, I’ll fake one instead!”
So he fired up Outlook, made the font color red,
And typed out a message which frantically said:

“The server is down, the application has crashed,
The developers responsible should have their heads bashed!

Then the PM clicked SEND and the chain started down,
From the CEO to the devs, asnooze in their town.
All their windows were dark. Quiet snow filled the air.
All the devs were all dreaming sweet dreams without care.

Then he did the same thing to the other Devs’ projects,
Leaving bugs and errors and emails with scary subjects.
“The project is late, we surely are doomed,”
He wrote and sent and the emails zoomed.

And the PM grabbed the source tree and he started to skim,
When he heard someone asking, “Why are you in VIM?”
He turned around fast, and he saw a small Dev!
Little Tina-Kiev Dev, who was an SAII,
The PM had been caught by this tiny code enabler,
Who’d came to the office for her red stapler.

She stared at the PM and said, “Project Lead, why,”
“Why are you checking our source tree? WHY?”
But you know, that old PM was so smart and so slick,
He thought up a lie and he thought it up quick!
“Why, my sweet little tot,” the fake developer lied,
“A line in this code won’t lint and that commit’s denied”
“So I’m checking in a patch, my dear.”
“I’ll release it out there after I fix it up here.”
And this fib fooled the dev. Then he patted her head.
And he got her a red stapler and sent her to bed.

“Feh, feh to the devs!” he was PMishly humming.
“They’re finding out now that no Christmas is coming!”
“They’re just waking up! I know what they’ll do!”
“Their mouths will hang open a minute or two,”
“Then the devs down in Devville will all cry ‘Boo hoo!’”
“That’s a noise,” pipped the PM, “That I simply must hear.”

So he paused. And the PM put his hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low. Then it started to grow.
But the sound wasn’t sad! Why this sounded merry!
It couldn’t be so! But it WAS merry! Very!

He stared down at Devville! The PM popped his eyes!
Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!

Every Dev down in Devville, the tall and the small,
Was playing! Without any calls at all!
He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming! It CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the PM, with his PM-feet in sensible shoes,
Stood puzzling and trying to understand this news.
“I sent emails! I marked them important!”
“I filed tickets with statuses of urgent!”
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then, the PM thought of something he hadn’t thought of before!

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t disrupt my sprint,”
“Maybe Christmas… perhaps blocked days aren’t a misprint.”
And what happened then? Well… in Devville they say,
That the PM’s small brain grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his schedule didn’t feel quite so tight,
He whizzed out of the office through the bright morning light.

Happy Holidays!

Image credits:
Uses the following assets:

  • Concept Draw screenshot by Anna Korlyakova (CC license)
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