How to Tell One Specialist From Another

A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a woman down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts, “Excuse me. Can you help me? I promised my friend I would meet him half an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

She says, “Yes, you are in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 40 feet above this field. You are between 46 & 48 degrees N latitude and between 52 & 56 degrees W. longitude.”

“You must be an Engineer,” says the balloonist.

“I am,” replies the woman. “How did you know?”

“Well,” says the balloonist, “everything you have told me is technically correct but useless. You haven’t been much help because I don’t know how to use that information to help myself. So, I’m still lost.”

The woman says, “You must be a Consultant”.

“I am,” replies the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

“You made a promise you don’t know how to keep. You’ve gotten this far by dint of hot air. You don’t know where you are or how to get to where you want to be; and you expect me to solve your problem. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met but now it is somehow somebody else’s fault.”

Could we tell a lawyer from an accountant in a similar encounter? Or a litigator from a PE lawyer? If so, how would the conversation go?

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