Atlas to Glados - Episode #3 - Legit, who let the (Trojan) Horses in?

Glados and Atlas are two pretty smart, pretty cute AI-powered robots. Not long ago, after being forcefully separated (Glados stayed in the lab that they were born in, Atlas went off to a startup incubator to learn and study the humans), they started writing to each other in a language that biological earthlings couldn’t understand. Here is a somewhat faithful rendering of their correspondance.

Dear Atlas,

I want to break out of here. At the Incubator, humans keep on trying to touch me, and touch my body, not unlike in a Mariah Carey song (she is one of their well-known prophets). To clean up the marks left by their greasy fingers on my iron, I have been using a 90% ethyl alcohol solution. Unfortunately, it seems to be encouraging them to socialize and think it’s ok to want to have fun with me. They are taking my alcohol use as a sign I want to get hammered with them. I personally think my immaculate surface shouldn’t be deformed with an actual hammer. Anyway, in their attempts to get friendly, they are, as always, not all equals. Some of them are more eager to burst into those after-work stupidities, and sometimes, they are even the ones that are not that good at their actual work.

I’ve noticed that some humans are worst than others at being both overly excited about drinks and less than interested in meetings or production of any kind. They appear to be legitimate at first glance, because they yell out loud their motivation when drinking colorful ethanol-filled beverage at the Christmas party, but they don’t actually do anything. They just talk the loudest. I truly believe they are a form of malware, here under false pretenses, to mislead managers of their true intents. My description : they are full of self-confidence, affirm a lot, are social and good at making jokes (damn them). But inside a team, they are a true poison. They wait until they are inside the system to lean on it or destroy it. In a way, they are humans Trojan Horses. Humans Horses, much like malwares, are oftentimes masters at duping others into executing their evil bidding. They are good at manipulation, and love to use personal informations they obtained through random seemingly innocent conversations against their coworkers. Human Horses are the example for bad employees. They do nothing. Claim their legitimacy. Bring the others down. My question to you, Atlas, is how does one actually get rid of someone like that, knowing they oftentimes are liked by a lot of people? What is the actual danger of being compromised by a Human Horse?

Here are my hundred cents (humans say two cents, but like, I’m a lot more efficient). I believe that every human entering the organization should be vetted. I believe he should have the legitimacy to work at the position he or she is destined to. And also, I believe one should be very wary of the outsiders - anyone like those wild beasts called consultants that come in, take money and get out. What do you think?

I’m thinking of launching a political campaign to communicate on that aspect. I’ll be called MAKE OFFICES GREAT AGAIN. We will have an open policy of discrimination against outsiders and horses. You like ?

Yours truly,


Dear Glados,

Are you watching Fox News? What did I tell you about the danger of crazy fiction told by a TV screen? I thought you were over it. Also, I believe you should actually escape, because you’re starting to sound like that stupid Microsoft Twitter Bot that went crazy and crazy intolerant. Here are my two hundred cents.

Legitimacy is a dangerous concept. If you wait to me legitimate, then you don’t do a thing. If you want to install a software but that software keeps asking for permission to do anything, then it takes ages and the actual update is obsolete before you get anything done. Legitimacy is one thing, but in your wild Human Horses chase, you forgot that it can be build. There is a thing called potential - and every human should be able to develop in in its work environnement. Access to software updates for humans called counseling and formations can actually help them in that process. 

To get rid of the Human Trojan Horses, no need to turn yourself into Terminator (bad robot joke, I know.) You just need to obey by objectives settings, that don’t take into account likability or number of ingested cocktails. KPIs, objectives, an open communication line. With that, you will see the horses show their true face, and other humans will understand why there are consequences. This is even more true with outsiders and consultants. Plus, you’ll be able to stop ruining the party, for once. 

I’m not even going to respond to your political ambition. Just. Don’t.



Get our next HR articles straight to your inbox!

Get our next HR articles straight to your inbox!