Hein (fub) wrote,
Hein
fub

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Better living through poetry

I have found out a new trick: if I quote poetry at account managers/project managers/presales consultants who ask me odd questions, they'll make a really hasty exit. An account manager asked us about something that we have discussed at great lengths in the past. It has been put on the list of feature requests to be implemented in the new version of the product, but every time something else had more priorities.

The conversation went something like this:
Account Manager: But why hasn't it been done yet?
Me: It's been on the list before, but it has never been implemented.
AM: But everybody wants this!
Me: Because between dream and action are laws in the way, and practical objections...
AM: *exit stage left*

The quote is from Willem Elsschot's "Het Huwelijk", and is, in full:
    want tussen droom en daad
    staan wetten in de weg en praktische bezwaren,
    en ook weemoedigheid, die niemand kan verklaren,
    en die des avonds komt, wanneer men slapen gaat.

In English, this (roughly) translates to:
    because between dream and action
    are laws in the way and pratical objections,
    and also melancholy, that no-one can explain,
    that comes in the evening, when one goes to sleep.

We were all terribly impressed with the effectiveness of poetry in getting rid of people. I think I'll use it more often!
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