Do you know what your Job is?

This story from the days of the Apollo missions is probably apocryphal but it does raise an interesting point about the difference between job descriptions and vision.

In 1967 a journalist is wandering round NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory talking to people involved in the Apollo missions.

He encounters a man wearing the default engineer's uniform of a white shirt and blue tie, a slide rule sticking out of his top pocket.

"Sorry to interrupt" says the journalist, "but do you mind me asking what you your job is?"

"No problem" replies the engineer, "my job is to calculate the mass flow rate of RP-1 fuel through each of the engines of the Saturn rocket".

The journalist dutifully writes this down in his note book and thanks the engineer. In the office across the hallway he finds another man, dressed in a dark suit. He knocks politely then asks,

"Hello, I'm doing an article on the staff at NASA and I am trying to find out what peoples jobs are."

"I'm the Lunar Module Flight Plan Director." says the man in the suit, "I manage and approve all changes the the LMFP."

Again the journalist writes down what the man says and wanders off to find someone else. At the end of the corridor is a man in NASA overalls sweeping the floor. Under the blue and red logo is the word 'Janitor'.

Sensing the possibility of a human interest story the journalist approaches the man

"I can see you are a janitor", he says "but what does your job involve?"

"That's easy", replies the janitor "I'm putting man on the moon".