There is not much to say at that point in the project when expectations are tempered with reality and a scapegoeat is sought. Marketing will blame Engineering, Engineering will blame Software, Software will blame Sales. It is then that a Diagnostic Manager is recruited to provide top management with an animal to lay hands upon.

“Johnny Iowa here to see Mr. Munster.”

“Please be seated and fill out this employment application. What position are you applying for?”

“Diagnostic Engineer – First Class.”

“I see. Mr. Munster will be here shortly.”

“Just how did EXLAXI get its name? What does EXLAXI mean?”

“Whatever you want it to mean…”

“Bill Munster here. Glad to meet you Mr. Iowa. Let’s walk over to my cubicle. Everyone here at EXLAXI has a cubicle – it keeps everyone feeling equal. Even our president, Joe Ratso has a cube. Would you care for some coffee?”

“No, thank you.”

“Have a seat. Tell me, you are applying for the diagnostic engineer position. Have you considered management?”

“Yes, I did that at Calmanure. That was enough management for me.”

“Heh – heh. Well, I’m sure we can change your mind. First we need to talk. Tell me, what is a diagnostic?”

“Diagnostics are many things to many people…”



“Ralph, this is Johnny Iowa. He’s applying of the diagnostic manager’s position. Mr. Iowa, Ralph Kuksok.”


“Rabble babble jabble mabble.”

“Pardon me?”

“Horgus morgus smorgus borgus.”

“Bill, what’s he saying?”

“You’ll have to overlook Ralph’s behavior – he hasn’t been the same since his $6.25-a- share stocks opened at $1.15. He has his good days, too. At times he can almost act human.”

“I see…”

“This is Marvin Rowdy and Will Liefson. Will is the production manager and Marvin’s done most of the work on diagnostics so far. Mr. Iowa is applying for the diagnostic manager’s job.”

“Glad to me both of you.”

“Kid, a nice guy like you doesn’t want the diagnostic manager’s job. Right, Marvin?”

“Will’s right. Our advice to you is to catch the next stage headed east…”

“Mr. Munster, I like you and everthing I’ve seen here at EXLAXI; but, when do these interviews end? You’ve kept me here nine days now and I’ve talked to just about everyone in the company. When can I go home?”

“Heh – heh. There’s just one more person left: the Director of Engineering, Dr. Balasubterranean Kubar.” “Welcome, welcome to my humble cube, humble humble cube.”

“Thank you, thank you.”

“I see by your résumé that you are claiming to be assuming to be knowing dihognosteeks – dihognosteekssssss…”

“Yeah, I guess so. If you put it that way.”

“Dihognosteeks are software. Yes? Dihognosteekssssss…”


“Dihognosteeks are hardware. No? Dihognosteekssssss…”

“No, uh yes, uh, well, sort of.”

“Dihognosteeks are not necessary. Yes? Dihognosteekssssss…”


“Dihognosteeks is your mantra – dihognosteekssssss…”


“Dihognosteeks are your future – dihognosteekssssss…”


“Dihognosteeks are your past – dihognosteekssssss…”


“Dihognosteeks are a very bad evil – dihognosteekssss…”

“Diagnostics are a very bad evil.”

“Dihognosteeks are a very bad evil – dihognosteekssss…”

“Diagnostics are a very bad evil.”