- Mary says, "98% complete, just a few details left!" (You know that Mary hasn't started yet.)
- John says, "No problems here." (John has not been home in 3 weeks.)
- Maureen says, "We'd be finished now, but I want to be really perfect." (Yesterday she asked you if there were any windows that opened on the 30th floor.)
- Harry says, "Going smoothly, boss" (He spent most of this morning drafting a new resume.)
- Then, Donna says, "Well, there are a few glitches, we may be a few days late..."
At that last word, the PM jumps out of his chair, pounds a fist on the desk, and says, "Donna, this is a high priority project that has to be finished by the due date or heads will roll! Work harder, work smarter and have a full explanation of the problems on my desk before you leave! Do you know what the 30th floor will do to me, what they will do to us, if I tell them we'll be late?"
Now it's your turn and you feel sweat beads forming on your forehead. Yeah, your portion of the project looks bad today but some good things could happen... maybe the tooth fairy will visit... maybe you will win the lottery... Sure, you could finish on time. So you say, "Going as planned, we'll be ready."
The PM nods sagely, gives you the briefest of smiles and looks at the team member to your right. The sweat beads fade and you look over at Donna with head downcast like a death row inmate.
This is why this joke developed over time... "How do you tell the difference between a car salesman and a software salesman?"
The car salesman knows he is lying.