The Expert (Short Comedy Sketch)
- Articles, Blog

The Expert (Short Comedy Sketch)

Our company has a new strategic initiative to increase market penetration, maximise brand loyalty, and enhance intangible assets. In pursuit of these objectives, we’ve started a new project — for which we require 7 red lines. I understand your company can help us in this matter. Of course! Walter here will be the Project Manager. Walter, we can do this, can’t we? Yes, of course. Anderson here is our expert in all matters related to drawing red lines. We brought him along today to share his professional opinion. Nice to meet you! Well, you all know me. This is Justine, our company’s design specialist. Hallo… We need you to draw seven red lines. All of them strictly perpendicular; some with green ink and some with transparent. Can you do that? No. I’m afraid we — Let’s not rush into any hasty answers, Anderson! The task has been set and needs to be carried out. At the end of the day, you are an expert. The term “red line” implies the colour of the line to be red. To draw a red line with green ink is — well if it is not exactly impossible, then it is pretty close to being impossible. What does it even mean: “impossible”? I mean, it is quite possible that there are some people, say suffering from colour blindness, for whom the colour of the lines doesn’t really make a difference. But I am quite sure that the target audience of your project does not consists solely of such people. So in principle this is possible. I’ll simplify. A line as such can be drawn with absolutely any ink. But if you want to get a red line, you need to use red ink. What if we draw them with blue ink? It still won’t work. If you use blue ink, you will get blue lines. And what exactly did you mean, when you talked about the transparent ink? How to better explain? I’m sure you know what “transparent” means? Yes, I do. And what a “red line” means, I hope I don’t need to explain to you? Of course not. Well… You need to draw red lines with transparent ink. Could you describe what you imagine the end result would look like? C’mon, Anderson! What do we have here, kindergarten? Let’s not waste our time with these unproductive quarrels. The task has been set; the task is plain and clear. Now, if you have any specific questions, go ahead! You’re the expert here! Alright, let’s leave aside the colour for the moment. You had something there also relating to perpendicularity?.. Seven lines, all strictly perpendicular. To what? Erm, to everything. Among themselves. I assumed you know what perpendicular lines are like! Of course he does. He’s an expert! Two lines can be perpendicular. All seven can’t be simultaneously perpendicular to each other. I’ll show you. This is a line, right? Yes. And another one. Is it perpendicular to the first line? Well… Yes, it is perpendicular. Exactly! Wait, wait, I’m not done. And a third one: is it perpendicular to the first line? Yes, it is! But it doesn’t cross the second line. They’re both parallel. Not perpendicular! I suppose so. There it is. Two lines can be perpendicular — Can I have the pen? How about this? This is a triangle. It’s definitely not perpendicular lines. And there are three, not seven. Why are they blue? Indeed. Wanted to ask that myself. I have a blue pen with me. This was just a demonstration — That’s the problem, your lines are blue. Draw them with red ink! It won’t solve the problem. How do you know before you’ve tried? Lets draw them with red ink and then let’s see. I don’t have a red pen with me, — but I am completely certain that with red ink the result will still be the same. Didn’t you tell us earlier that you can only draw red lines with red ink? In fact, yes, I’ve written it down here! And now you want to draw them with a blue ink. Do you want to call these red lines? I think I understand. You’re not talking about the colour now, right? You’re talking about that, what do you call it: per-per, dick-dick — Perpendicularity, yes! That’s it, now you’ve confused everyone. So what exactly is stopping us from doing this? Geometry. Just ignore it! We have a task. Seven red lines. It’s not twenty; it’s just seven. Anderson, I understand; you’re a specialist of a narrow field, you don’t see the overall picture. But surely it’s not a difficult task to draw some seven lines! Exactly. Suggest a solution! Any fool can criticise, no offence, but you’re an expert, you should know better! OK. Let me draw you two perfectly perpendicular red lines, — and I will draw the rest with transparent ink. They’ll be invisible, but I’ll draw them. Would this suit us? Yes, this will suit us. Yes, but at least a couple with green ink. Oh, and I have another question, if I may. Can you draw one of the lines in the form of a kitten? A what? In the form of a kitten. Market research tells our users like cute animals. It’d be really great if — No-oh… Why? Look, I can of course draw you a cat. I’m no artist, but I can give it a try. But it won’t be a line any more. It will be a cat. A line and a cat: those are two different things. A kitten. Not a cat, but a kitten. It’s little, cute, cuddly. Cats, on the other hand — It doesn’t make a difference. Anderson, at least hear her out! She hasn’t even finished speaking, and you’re already saying “No!” I got the idea, but it is impossible to draw a line in the form of a cat…ten. What about a bird? So, where did we stop? What are we doing? Seven red lines, two with red ink, two with green ink and the rest – with transparent. Did I understand correctly? —
— Yes. Excellent! In which case that’s everything, right? Oh, oh, I almost forgot, we also have a red balloon. Do you know if you could inflate it? What do I have to do with balloons? It’s red. Anderson, can you or can you not do this? A simple question. As such, I can of course, but — Excellent. Organise a business trip, we’ll cover the expenses, — go over to their location, inflate the balloon. Well this was very productive, thank you all! Can I ask one more question, please? When you inflate the balloon, could you do it in the form of a kitten? Of course I can! I can do anything, I can do absolutely anything. I’m an expert!

About Ralph Robinson

Read All Posts By Ralph Robinson

100 thoughts on “The Expert (Short Comedy Sketch)

  1. Check out the new episodes of The Expert: Square Project!

  2. For five years I have been watching this video in hope to find more but each time I am disappointed 🙁

  3. They make 10 to 50 times his pay which is inversely proportional to their grasp of reality

  4. I'm studying mechanical engineering, and I have been forced to take more than one course that focused on or had a major section devoted to how to interpret a client's request into engineering requirements and then how to translate the end solution back to the client in a not highly technical way, but this is something that's deeply flawed in our society I feel. Instead of engineers having to come up with both an optimal solution and a way to explain it to non engineers, it should be the non engineers who have to familiarize themselves with the terminology. At least to a greater extent than is currently expected. Clients who expect a well engineered solution should either accept the fact that they won't understand how it works or spend a few late nights or more pouring over papers, technical documents, and/or engineering drawings to bring themselves at least partly up to speed because God knows those engineers spent more than just a few creating all those documents.

  5. What you do is use color changing ink preferably blue to red others change to green. Switch between three colors. The kittens can be formed microscopic size lining. Now the only way you can figure this out I'd through perspective

  6. I like how "the expert" graduates at the very end and realizes he should just nod and agree. Explaining shit is meaning. Just get shit done with the intended purpose

  7. The is a way for three lines to be perpendicular, two in a cross and the third as a circle drawn with the center of the circle being the point where the lines cross. Then have the cross lines cross over the circle. The point where the straight lines cross the circle would be perpendicular.

  8. When our local politicians head off to Washington, they are experts; but when they return, they are Yes men… and yes, women.

  9. Lines don't have to be straight so they can be perpendicular at certain points along the lines. Red could mean "read" lines as in you read them. And then you just draw 2+ green lines and say the rest are transparent. Easy win

  10. "we want the selling price of our product to be at least lower than 2€ for the end-consumer. Can the supply chain be optimized to achieve this?"
    "Unlikely, because then the selling price would be lower than the actual cost of raw material, not even talking about manufacture, storage, transportation, customs etc., I cannot answer the question on guesswork alone."
    "I don't think you understand the question. Yes or No?"

    (Just because I work in Supply Chain Management dosen't mean i'm a human computer.)

  11. office plankton

    We, the willing,
    led by the unknowing,
    Are doing the impossible for the ungrateful.
    We have done so much, with so little, for so long,
    that we are now qualified to do ANYTHING with NOTHING.

  13. Technicians are the only sane people in the corporate world. Everyone else is living in a parallel reality.

  14. I once overheard a senior engineer "fight" with a manager because he didn't work on an aspect of the project that was not in the specs and not factured to the client.

    It was a least two weeks worth of work that was not specified and that the manager wanted done for the client without charging them for it, all while expecting the deadline to be met.

    And that guy is paid at least 1.5x more than the engineer 🙂

  15. Great sketch, but frighteningly real. The world is the way it is because complete morons are allowed to take positions of power and the really intelligent refuse to.

  16. Albert Einstein: "Two things are infinite: the universe and the human stupidity." as proven here… How many of meetings like this i have experienced. These are hours and hours of my life I really would like to get back…

  17. This would be funny if this kind of thing hasn't actually become the norm at least in the high tech world. I wish I was kidding.

  18. That's literally the Western civilization nowadays… People just want make believe things, they're convinced that it makes sense and is possible and when people with common sense challenge them they just make general knowledge sound like kindergarten facts

  19. I'll make 2 lines perpendicular to one another and explain that I've made 7 perpendicularly lines (mutually perpendicular or not): 2 with green ink, 5 with transparent ink, and we are calling it 7 perpendicular red lines.

  20. This video is priceless! it deserves to be preserved.. should be a mandatory training video in all corporate workplaces across the world

  21. Ah.. the pressure. All looking at him, expecting, it is very easy for him, and yet… he can't do the impossible. The pressure.

  22. Silly Anderson, you can totally draw 7 lines perpendicular to each other. You just need to draw them in 7-dimensional space.

  23. It’s important to note that this is a horror film. Much like “don’t hug me I’m scared isn’t for children, this is not comedy.

  24. uhmm… you can draw 7 perpenDickular lines in 3dmax with blue or green or whatever color of your choice, then screenshot the result, port it to photoshop and make the lines red. EASY!!!!1!1

  25. I believe I have come up with a solution.
    I would program in the application to draw each line in a separate dimension, therefore 7 dimensions. Now, it may take awhile for the implementation drawing API to support it, but in theory I believe this works.
    Now for the red lines with transparent ink, change the alpha value, should work. The Red lines with Blue/Green Ink, now a coworker suggested we draw lines that make out the word red, with the green/blue ink.

  26. How to deal with bosses:
    1) Try to figure out what they expect.
    2) Give up on figuring out.
    3) Figure out what you can do with the tools provided.
    4) Make something logical.
    5) Present the end product.
    6) Realize the boss had no idea on what to expect and agrees on your solution, pretending it was his plan all along.
    7) Start over, because the boss misunderstood the customer or hasn't relayed additional requirements.

  27. This happens all the time. The boss has unrealistic goals, and the expert says it can't be done and she refuses to listen. Then the deadline approaches, and she has no choice but to take whatever she can.

  28. I gotta love those "buzz words"…a new "STATEGIC" initiative. Let me puke! I have heard all of this before sitting in meetings with overpaid a$$holes that are leading the meeting and have no clue what they are doing.


  30. Too creepy…..reminds me of my corporate days trying to answer to management on their ridiculous needs…..yet all the while making me feel to be the idiot. Oh yes…..was also well-reflected in my annual review. So gut wrenching, I'm glad I'm an independent …….

  31. Notice when they told him to also inflate the balloons? Yes, he can do it. But it's not his job.. his job is actually designing the lines and the boss was like "can you do it or can you not?!"
    Yes he can, but it's not part of the job he signed for! And of course he can also make it shaped like a kitty, at the same time do the plumbing, be the courier and marketing all the same time. He have the skill but not the recognition!
    I don't know if it's just too relatable to me or the story also is about that..

  32. I am a software engineer developing graphical user interfaces mostly for embedded systems.
    This is the story of my life, sadly, almost word for word.

  33. I've been in meetings like this.
    I've been assigned tasks like this.
    And worse.
    You have no idea how MUCH worse.

  34. I worked at an advertising agency and this is what a meeting between the customer (BofA) and our developers was like when they were trying to develop a new website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *