Jim Harlow and Maxwell Dunn were at Jim’s home working on a project they had designed a few months before. They were both electrical engineers and were hoping to have a breakthrough product that would catapult them into their own business. Jim had more experience than Max and often times was hired as a consultant by other firms to either work out some bugs they were having with a program or to advise a company on the best methods to maximize their staff’s ability to advance them into the future.
What made this particular night ironic is that both men were having a problem running a program that was essential to their project. It was essential because it was the last piece of the puzzle before moving forward to building a prototype for testing. Without this phase of the software, the project could be stalled for an indefinite period of time. Needless to say, both men were getting frustrated and agitated with themselves, each other and the computer.
They decided to take a break and get some coffee before they lost control of their emotions and caused damage to the project or their friendship. They’d been friends for many years and were smart enough to know how such things could get out of hand real quick and ruin everything. The time and money that both had already sunk into the project demanded they not jeopardize everything by letting their emotions run amok. Both of them were well aware of the fact that to lose all they had invested was something neither of them could afford to have happen.
While in the kitchen trying to let their minds free up so they could figure out where the glitch in the software might be, neither of them spotted Jim’s son Kurt enter the living room and venture over to the computer.
After some moments, Kurt called out, “What game is this daddy?”
For a brief moment, neither man moved not thinking too much of the question, but as soon as it registered in their minds, they scrambled into the living room to see Kurt in front of the computer and the screen displaying a series of rapid changes.
“Get away from there!” Jim yelled and rushed to the computer, practically knocking Kurt to the floor. “What have you done? What did you touch?” he demanded.
Before he could say another word, Max stepped up closer and studied the screen. “Jim, don’t yell at him,” he said quietly.
Jim turned to look at him. “What?”
Max nodded and pointed to the screen. “Don’t yell at him. He’s got it running and we need to know what he did to make it work.”
Jim glanced at Kurt then back at Max. “Are you crazy? He’s seven years old. How the hell could he get it going?”
Max pointed to the screen again. “I don’t care how old he is, he’s got the damn thing running. Look at it.”
Jim reluctantly looked at the screen. His shoulders relaxed. Scratching his head he said, “How the hell…….?”
He turned to a frightened Kurt standing a few feet away. “Kurt, daddy’s sorry for yelling at you. I need you to tell me what you did to the computer. It’s very important that you tell me. Okay?”
Kurt looked at Max, then his father. He wasn’t sure what to do.
“Please help daddy,” Jim said softly.
Max nodded. “We really need your help buddy. Please.”
Kurt moved closer and Jim gently placed his arm around his shoulder. “Do you remember what you touched?” he asked.
“Yes,” Kurt answered still not sure what was going to happen.
“Can you show me?”
Kurt stepped up to the keyboard and timidly pointed to the capital lock key, then the refresh button and lastly, the enter key.
“That’s it?” Jim asked incredulously.
“Yep,” Kurt replied and stepped away.
After a few moments viewing the screen, Jim smiled and held his arms out. “Come here,” he said to Kurt and gave him a big hug. “You’re a hero. You saved dad and Max. For that you have a nice reward coming.”
Jim turned to Max. “Can you believe it?”
Max smiled a wide smile. “It was just that simple. We should have gotten our of our own way hours ago.”
They spent the next two hours celebrating and Kurt felt very special and loved.
February 25, 2014