Years ago in college, I worked in the auditorium as part of the stage crew and one of the many jobs was running the spot light during shows. There was one two hour show I worked where the spot light would only be used for about fifteen minutes about half-way through the show. This meant I had to sit next to the spot light for nearly an hour, do the fifteen minutes of work, then sit there for another hour until the show was over.
As I sat there waiting for my cue, my mind wandered. I'm about twenty to thirty feet above the audience, I thought. This platform is suspended from the ceiling and held into place with those four bolts. I wonder when was the last time they were checked? What would I do if they failed? Could I grab and hold onto something? What could I grab? What was that creak? Oh, part of the show, okay. How much does that spot light weigh? I sure hope these bolts hold for another 98 minutes …
I was reminded of this today as I sat in our daily, thrice-weekly standup scrum meeting. Our acting manager and a team leader from another team were going back and forth about an overscoped and time deficient schedule when my mind wandered again. Staring out the window, I was watching the sun behind a hazy layer of clouds. At our latitude, I thought, we're moving at 940 mph towards the east. The earth itself is moving at 67,000 mph around the sun, and the sun itself is moving our entire solar system at 514,000 mph. All of this is held together by the force of gravity, a force so weak that a kitchen magnet can overcome it. It's a wonder everything doesn't just fly apart. I sure hope those bolts hold for another— “Huh? What?”
“I asked what have you done in the past 48 hours since our last daily, thrice-weekly standup scrum meeting?”
“Oh, just pondering the ridiculous speed we're hurling through space as we're held together with four small bolts.”
“Are you okay, Sean?”