Neil Kandalgaonkar

hacker, maker of things


Square blocks by rutty

The yearly corporate team-building exercise was, mercifully, almost over. The facilitator, a woman who claimed to have invented Burning Man, revealed boxes of toy blocks with segments of wooden tracks for a marble to roll down. She challenged us to build a track that had the most turns.

We divided into teams and started to attack the problem. Fitting the pieces into a tower, our team got about three turns. Some teams did better, others did worse.

The facilitator called time up, and held aloft a single large track shaped like a spiral. It must have had eight turns, at least. “I said at the start that you could ask me any question! None of you asked me for this!” she exclaimed, beaming at us.

I remarked to our tech lead that I was already mentally composing the Worst Feedback Ever.

He said he didn’t care so much, because when the exercise started, he just was happy that there were blocks, and started building whatever he wanted.

At this, the student was enlightened.