The King's Companion
The King called his wizard, Harry, into his chambers. "Harry, I require a companion. I want you to find one for me. She must be strong and capable, yet warm and affectionate. She must be intelligent, yet loyal and accepting of my supreme authority. She must be attractive, yet find me loveable. She must be able to entertain herself, yet be ready to cheerfully accompany me anywhere at a moments notice. She must be quick to joy, slow to anger, and must never criticize me. Oh - and Harry - I need her by tonight."
Harry stared at the King. After a long pause, he started to speak. The King abruptly stood up and waved him away. "I have given you my requirements. You are a powerful wizard, I know you can find the perfect companion for me - now go."
Harry slowly nodded and retired to his tower.
Several hours later, while eating his supper, the King allowed himself to dream about the wonderful woman the wizard would bring to him. She would be sweet and warm, yet strong and intelligent. Surely, she would be the queen to match his magnificent kingliness. He chortled as he thought about the other kings with their chatty, stupid queens. They will most certainly envy him at next month's Monarch Golf Tournament and Banquet.
Imagine the King's surprise when Harry arrived at the door with a beautiful golden retriever. Imagine Harry's frustration as he was led to the dungeon. Harry's yells can still be heard echoing in the vast corridors of the castle.... "But..... you said you wanted...."
Moral: If you do not allow open two-way discussion about your requirements, you may be given a solution that meets your requirements, but has completely missed your needs.
These stories are adapted examples written in my class, IS 6840 (formerly MSIS 488).
© Vicki L. Sauter. All rights Reserved.