A Spoon and a String
A timeless lesson on how consultants can make a difference for an organization.
Last week, we took some friends out to a new restaurant, and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket.
It seemed a little strange.
When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I noticed he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around saw that all the staff
had spoons in their pockets.
When the waiter came back to serve our soup I asked, "Why the spoon?"
"Well," he explained, "the restaurant's owners hired Andersen Consulting to revamp all our processes. After several months of analysis,
they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour.
If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number off trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man hours per shift."
As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he was able to replace it with his spare.
"I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now."
I was impressed. I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter's fly.
Looking around, I noticed that all the waiter's had strings hanging from their flies. So before he walked off, I asked the waiter, "Excuse me, but
can you tell me why you have that string right there?"
"Oh, certainly!" Then he lowered his voice. "Not everyone is so observant.
That consulting firm I mentioned also found out that we can save time in the restroom. By tying this string to the tip of you know what, we can pull
it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands and shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39 percent."
I asked, "After you get it out, how do you put it back?"
"Well," he whispered, "I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon."
Will I live to be 80?
Recently I turned 63 and had to choose a new primary care physician for my Medicare program. After two visits and exhaustive lab tests,
he said I was doing 'fairly well' for my age. A little concerned about that comment,
I couldn't resist asking him, "Do you think I will live to be 80?"
He asked: "Do you smoke tobacco or drink alcoholic beverages?"
"Oh no," I replied. "I don't do drugs, either."
"Do you have many friends and entertain frequently?"
I said, "No, I usually stay home and keep to myself."
"Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?"
I said, "No, I am a vegetarian!"
"Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking or
"No, I don't," I said.
"Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?"
"No," I said, "I don't do any of those things."
He looked at me and said, "Then why the hell do you give a shit?"
20 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Level of Insanity
1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and
point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.
3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want
fries with that.
4. Put your garbage can on your desk and label it "In."
5. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has
gotten Over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.
6. In the memo field of all your checks, write "For smuggling diamonds"
7. Finish all your sentences with "In accordance with the Prophecy."
8. Don t use any punctuation
9. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
10. Order a diet water whenever you go out to eat with a serious face.
11. Specify that your drive-through order is "To go."
12. Sing along at the opera.
13. Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.
14. Put mosquito netting around your work area and play tropical sounds
15. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party
because you're not in the mood.
16. Have your co-workers address you by your wrestling name, "Rock Bottom".
17. When the money comes out of the ATM, scream "I Won!, I Won!"
18. When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot,
yelling "Run for your lives, they're loose!"
19. Tell your children over dinner. "Due to the economy, we are
going to have to let one of you go."
Organs of the Body
All the organs of the body were having a meeting, trying to decide who was
the one in charge.
"I should be in charge," said the brain, "because I run all the body's
systems, so without me nothing would happen."
"I should be in charge," said the blood, "because I circulate oxygen all
over so without me you'd all waste away."
"I should be in charge," said the stomach," because I process food and give
all of you energy."
"I should be in charge," said the legs , "because I carry the body wherever
it needs to go."
"I should be in charge," said the eyes, "because I allow the body to see
where it goes."
"I should be in charge," said the rectum, "Because I'm responsible for
All the other body parts laughed at the rectum and insulted him, so in a
huff, he shut down tight...
Within a few days, the brain had a terrible headache, the stomach was
bloated , the legs got wobbly, the eyes got watery, and the blood was toxic.
They all decided that the rectum should be the boss.
The moral of the story?
The asshole is usually in charge.