Sat Feb 23 03:48:20 EST 2002
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, but I ignored it. However, when the busboy brought
out water and utensils, I noticed he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket,
then looked around the room and saw that all the staff had spoons in their
When the waiter came back to serve our soup I asked, "Why the spoon?"
"Well," he explained, "the restaurant's owners hired Anderson Consulting,
experts in efficiency, in order to revamp all our processes. After several
months of statistical analysis, they concluded that customers drop their
spoons 73.84 percent more often than any other utensil. This represents a
drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. If our
personnel is prepared to deal with that contingency, we can reduce the
number of trips back to the kitchen and save 1.5 man-hours per shift."
As luck would have it I dropped my spoon and he was able to replace it with
his spare spoon. "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 rather
The waiter served our main course and I continued to look around. I then
noticed that there was a very thin string hanging out of the waiter's fly.
Looking around, I noticed that all the waiters had the same string hanging
from their flies. My curiosity got the better of me and before he walked
off, I asked the waiter, "Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that
string right there?" "Oh, certainly!" he answered, lowering his voice. "Not
everyone is as observant as you. That consulting firm I mentioned, also
found out that we can save time in the restroom." "How so?" "See," he
continued, "by tying this string to the tip of you know what, we can pull it
out over the urinal without touching it and that way eliminate the need to
wash the hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39
percent." "Okay, that makes sense, but . . . if the string helps you get it
out, how do you put it back in?" "Well," he whispered, lowering his voice
even further, "I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon."
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