Smarter not harder… snerk…

A toothpaste factory had a problem. They sometimes shipped empty boxes without the tube inside. This challenged their perceived quality with the buyers and distributors.

Understanding how important the relationship with them was, the CEO of the company assembled his top people. They decided to hire an external engineering company to solve their empty boxes problem. The project followed the usual process: budget and project sponsor allocated, RFP, and third-parties selected.  Six months (and $8 million) later they had a fantastic solution – on time, on budget, and high quality. Everyone in the project was pleased.

They solved the problem by using a high-tech precision scale that would  sound a bell and flash lights whenever a toothpaste box weighed less than it should. The line would stop, someone would walk over, remove the defective box, and then press another button to re-start the line. As a result of the new package monitoring process, no empty boxes were being shipped out of the factory.

With no more customer complaints, the CEO felt the $8 million was well spent. He then reviewed the line statistics report and discovered the number of empty boxes picked up by the scale in the first week was consistent with projections, however, the next three weeks were zero! The estimated rate should have been at least a dozen boxes a day. He had the engineers check the equipment, they verified the report as accurate.

Puzzled, the CEO traveled down to the factory, viewed the part of the line where the precision scale was installed, and observed just ahead of the new $8 million dollar solution sat a $20 desk fan blowing the empty boxes off the belt and into a bin. He asked the line supervisor what that was about.

“Oh, that,” the supervisor replied, “Bert, the kid from maintenance, put it there because he was tired of walking over every time the bell rang.”

And some groaners…

  1. King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites.  His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates , the most valuable diamond in the ancient world.

Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan.

 Croesus said, “I’ll give you 100,000 dinars for it.”

“But I paid a million dinars for it,” the King protested. “Don’t you know who I am? I am the king!”

Croesus replied, “When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are.”
2.  Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers.  Unfortunately, all the Swiss League records were destroyed in a fire, …and so we’ll never know for whom the Tells bowled.
3.  A man rushed into a busy doctor’s surgery and shouted, “Doctor! I think I’m shrinking!”

The doctor calmly responded, “Now, settle down. You’ll just have to be a little patient.”
4.  An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin strip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off, chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day. After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling. The chief shrugged and said, “The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on.”
5.  A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official, who apologized profusely saying, “I must have taken Leif off my census.”
6.  There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deer skin, one slept on an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All three became pregnant. The first two each had a baby boy. The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This just goes to prove that… the squaw of the hippopotamus are equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.
7.  A skeptical anthropologist was cataloguing South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal elder who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the elder looked him in the eye and said, “Let me tell you, with fronds like these, you don’t need enemas.


Working… — 9 Comments

  1. Minor correction on #6. Should be “The sons of the squaw on the hippopotamus is equal …” (… are equal …?)

  2. Typical. Let’s throw money at the problem instead of walking the line and seeing what’s going on.

  3. Ship just the tubes without boxes. No, nevermind, you couldn’t stack ’em on the store shelf.

    After #5, I was fairly sure I didn’t want to read any more. Ah, what the heck, why not. Coffee isn’t ready yet and the pain will wake me up.

  4. As an apprentice many years ago, I was responsible to maintain a section of the robotic body welding line. We had one weld in particular that had a lot of sealant on it. It would catch fire and go down the line leaving a trail of soot in the air that would fall on my workbench and myself.
    I rigged up an airline with a valve and taught the robot to snuff out the flame.
    I got a $5000 suggestion award I was told to apply for.
    The soot had been fogging the tooling departments vision cameras.
    They had a guy cleaning the lenses 3 time a shift that I hadn’t been aware of.

  5. Yoder- Thanks, fixed!

    Tuvela- Yep!

    Robert- LOL

    Ed- I’m not surprised you did that! 🙂

  6. That first one is a classic! I’ve seen similar and have even been responsible (more than once) for saying ‘why don’t you just do -X-?’
    Seeing people facepalm for not having realized the obvious is its own reward 🙂

  7. Or the frog that approached Miss Patricia Wack in the bank asking for a loan.
    “Do you have any collateral and I need some background info” replied Miss Wack.
    “I have this little glass horse and my father is Mick Jagger” replied the frog.
    Going to her manager Miss Wack gave him this information.

    The manager replied “It’s a knick knack Patty Wack, give the frog a loan. His Dad’s a Rolling Stone.”