Japanese IT Folk Tale — Crane Caught on Site


Long, long time ago, there was a small company called Funmuki Inc. The CEO of the company was writing programs and selling them for living. Driven by high corporation taxes, he was always thinking about creating a religious organization called “Church of PHP,” worshiping a dried mackerel, calling source code as “divine messages,” customers as “followers” and their payment as “donations” to make them tax exempt.

One day he was contacted by a man from a company called Universal Language System, and was asked to help their new project from a subsidiary company of a huge enterprise called–well, better not to say. They were working on adding a lot of new features on a web site already built with PHP, but they didn’t have enough engineers.

Understanding that they had a generous budget, the CEO gladly accepted the offer even after he had been told that the project chronically had a minor problem. The person in charge of Universal Language told him “don’t let anybody in your room while you’re working on the project.”

He and a young staff decided to work on the project at their homes after coming back from office, avoiding eyes of the others. The young staff lived alone.  Every evening, he would go home straight and keep working on the web site.

The situation for the CEO, on the other hand, was slightly different. He had a wife and a daughter. But knowing that his family would rarely come in his room in the basement, he was completely comfortable with working on the secret project.

One day, though, his daughter rushed into his room to show him origami she made. The daughter, who just started going to elementary school, looked a little startled by the files opened on his PC.

“Dad, what are you doing?” asked the daughter. More startled was the father. Wishing he had wings so that he could fly away, answered “I was asked by my friend to research something, and somehow, suddenly I ended up with these pages. You know this is my job. You go back upstairs now.” So she quickly went back to the living room, and he could hear her saying something to her mother.

What on the PC monitors were the pictures of young women with little covered areas and not-so-decent texts–the materials for the web site targeting adult viewers. The warning from the man from Universal Language was not due to the confidentiality obligation or anything, but purely a “moral” reason.

Ever since, whatever kind of web site he sees, he could get away with saying it as his job.

And they lived happily ever after.

IT日本昔ばなし: つるの開き直り編