How consultants can help a business

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Apr 19, 2004
New York
Last week I took a friend to a high end restaurant for dinner. I noticed that the waiters, busboys even the maitre d' had a spoon in their breast pocket. After awhile I asked the waiter what was up with all employees carrying a spoon in their breast pocket. He told me that the restaurant had hired a consulting firm to help increase productivity and that one recommendation was that all staff carry the spoon since it is the most frequently dropped utensil. He stated that by having the spoon readily available for replacement it would save an average of 17 seconds
that it would take to get a new spoon from the kitchen. A few minutes later I actually dropped my spoon and it was replaced by the waiter immediately.I was impressed.
A little while later I noticed that all the male staff had a little string protruding from their 'fly' area. I asked the waiter what the string was for and he said I was very observant.
He bent over and whispered that the string was attached to his pen.. and that the consulting firm estimated that each employee could save
12 seconds after peeing because it wouldn't be necessary to wash their hands. I was again impressed and asked him how he put it back in his pants after peeing without touching it. He whispered "I don't know about the rest of them but I use the spoon..."
That one's been around for a *long* time. My Dad told me that one- and he died in 1977. Thanks for bringing back a good memory.
One of our best and brightest engineers (he no longer works for us) once was telling me about the evils of consultants.

"You ask a consultant the time...He tells you, and walks out with your watch".
Worked for a govt. agency that hired a consulting firm to investigate some machine control wiring that had never worked right after another subcontractor had installed it. Three weeks later we got a 30 page report telling us basically that "the machine is operating exactly how it is wired".
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