Working with Aliens

This week I read a blog post about interviews in the creative industry and things that they will likely entail. You can read it here if you wish. However, what caught my attention was the short comedy skit at the end. Set in a fictional business meeting between two companies, one of which is asking for a project to be completed by the other. This fictional task is to draw seven red line, simple right? Wrong. The company requesting the seven red lines wants them to be written in green and or transparent ink. Yeah, not likely. They also want all seven lines to be perpendicular. To what and how, they don’t know.


In this fictional business meeting, the company being asked to complete the task is made up of two people who clearly don’t understand the true nature of their employee’s jobs, and the ‘expert’ who will complete the task. The two are mainly in the meeting to keep the client happy and better their own company, they do not understand what the ‘expert’ does. The expert is desperately trying to explain the faults in the task to no avail. There are some very transferable metaphors in this skit. For example the red lines could be a graphic, say a 3D character design for a videogame. But the green ink instead of red ink is like they are requesting the design to be produced in microsoft paint. This is just one of the ways this skit could be fit to a real situation, making the ridiculous people seem a little more realistic than idiotic.


This is a perfect satirical demonstration of what it is like to work with people who under or overestimate your ability in your field. The game ‘The writer will do something’ describes another, less comedic, fictional example of this. There are lots of people at the meeting who do not understand what you, the game writer, can and can’t do in the writer will do something. It of course ends in chaos. You can read what my thoughts on ‘The writer will do something’ here.

I personally have never had the experience where someone expected and demanded more than was physically possible of me, so it’s difficult for me to know any methods of dealing with people like this. I would believe it is very much like working with aliens. They barely speak the same language as you, they have a different mental process to you. From what I see, it’s never going to be a breeze, but with patience and generosity it may be possible to bring the alien and familiarize them with you world.


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