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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, Third Edition by Tim Lister, Tom DeMarco

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29. The Self-Healing System

An employee storms into the Personnel Department and resigns. The next morning, he and his boss turn up to explain rather sheepishly that the whole thing was a silly mistake. Would it be possible to undo his resignation? The workers handling the case look at the partly completed transaction in some perplexity. Whoever had designed the procedures for dealing with termination had made no allowance for undoing. But it’s easy enough to see what will make it all come out right: Let’s see, we can just drop this whole file into the wastebasket and pretend it never existed, then we void out the final payroll check and run over to Harry’s desk and grab the insurance cancellation forms before he sees them. . . .

A system has ...

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