The Balloonist and the Engineer

Realizing he was lost, a balloonist dropped down to ask directions. “Excuse me, but I’m a little off course” he shouted. “I promised to meet a friend an hour ago, I don’t know where I am.”

A woman hollered back: “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re at exactly 40 degrees, 22 minutes, and 21 seconds North latitude and 70 degrees, 30 minutes, and 33 seconds West longitude.”

“Amazing,” the balloonist replied. “You must be an engineer!”

“I am,” she replied, “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I can’t use your information. I’m still lost and you haven’t been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.”

The woman thought for a moment, then replied: “You must be in management.” “I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

“Well,” said the woman, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You’ve risen to your position due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems.”

“In fact,” she said, “you’re in exactly the same position you were before we met, but somehow it’s now my fault.”

Source: The Bent of Tau Beta Pi (not sure of original source)

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