Murphy’s cousin: about the art of detecting issues and making things happen


I’ve been asked lately about the “Murphy’s cousin” I write on my social networks bio. You’d have guessed by my surname that I don’t have a cousin named Murphy. But I am a magnet for strange issues and I have a big eye for detail that allows me to see what others don’t see.

It all comes from famous Murphy’s Law (you know… anything that can possibly go wrong, does) and a joke and her colleagues at Starbucks used to make. They used to say that they prayed for me not to become a Mistery Shopper at their place, because then they would never get their bonus.

No, they weren’t bad workers, they followed the rules, respected the clients and the place was as clean as it could be with one of the highest traffic in all Madrid. But from the exact moment you enter a shop to the time when you leave with a venti iced mocha in your hand, there are about 30,000 different things that could go “wrong”. And from those, I’d discover at least 3 in less than 5 minutes.

Nonsense texts, codes that don’t work, mislabeled products, bad translations… I am quite good at detecting those things and that has also taught me how to find out what is causing the issue and/or fix it. So, at a certain point, most people I’ve worked with has learnt to use that to their advantage.

It is also one of my biggest defects: give me a project and I’ll find 5 real-world problems in less than an hour. It can be discouraging when you’ve put a lot of effort on it, but it is also positive: find out what could be an issue and turn it into your next advantage, an opportunity, a chance to provide better service ahead of your competitors.

Some call it beta-testing.

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