So I sat down for a meeting with my boss, to discuss my goals for the year. I had the printout right in front of me. Improve reporting, increase test automation, get team certification in building wards out of twigs and hair, the usual kind of stuff.

And he began to talk about some problems from last week, the kind of problems that happen every week. Gnomes overrunning defensive barriers. Clients allowed to switch using currencies without proper authorization. Not enough silver bullets for the enchanted handguns.

And then suddenly our time was over. I walked out in a daze. Were my goals good or bad? Were we talking battle strategy or dissecting the troop movement of an individual campaign? And did I hear something about the One Ring muttered in there?

I picked up the piece of paper and looked at it. There were lines through a few things and the word LOUP GAROUX scribbled where I had previously written “root cause analysis.” I didn’t remember any sort of conversation about any of the things on the sheet of paper. What had just happened to me?

Then I stepped on a hair covered twig. Dammit, I had just been hexed! And by my own boss! How am I ever going to work on long term plans when this happens every time! I don’t even think he knows he’s exerting this power and yet it works – you can soak up magic ambiently, especially the destructive kind.

I stuffed the broken twig and the hair in my pocket. Thank God I’d had the foresight to give a strand to my second in command last week. Looks like the ward certification self-study program is working after all.