Thursday, July 22, 2010

I wonder how much truth there is to this???

Dan Galvin's Thought For The Day mailing list recently had this selection from Dave Barry:

The typical newspaper staff has been reduced to one editor, one managing editor, 14 assistant managing editors, 39 deputy assistant managing editors, and one reporter. The editors spend their days holding meetings to think of new ways to cut costs, while the reporter (who, for budgetary reasons, is not allowed to leave the building) looks out the window, in case news occurs in the parking lot."

This reminds me of a classic joke (You can select your favorite company and any management heavy compeditor):


The Great Rowing Competition

It was a sunny day on Puguet Sound in Washington. It was the day of the first annual Microsoft vs. IBM rowing competition. Each team was provided with identical 8 person boats. The teams got out of their limos and headed to the boats.

The Microsoft team all wore identical sweaters, and the leader carried a megaphone. They let the leader on first who went directly to the helm, sat down with one hand on the rudder and the megaphone in the other. The other seven grabbed their oars. They signaled the judges that they were ready to race.

Seven of the IBM team all wore identical blue suits, except the ties were allowed to be slightly different. The eighth was a large muscular guy wearing a tee shirt with the IBM crest. The VP ran to the boat and grabbed the rudder. The Lawyer in the group quickly followed carrying a megaphone. The other five managers got on and spent several minutes fighting for position and seating prior to settling down. The big guy in the tee shirt finally was allowed to get on, and pick up the oars. They signaled the judges that they were ready to race.

The starters pistol fired. The leaders in each boat started into the megaphone "Stroke...stroke...". The Microsoft team put it's 14 oars in the water and were soon underway at a good pace. The IBM rower showed his strength and soon had their boat underway. Within a few minutes the Microsoft boat was out in front, running in a straight path towards the goal point off in the distance.

The managers on the IBM boat noticed the gap and started a mini-task force to uncover a solution. They then broke up and empowered themselves to help. Several pulled out their own collapsible megaphones and started yelling their own separate instructions. One pulled out a paper cup and started bailing out the few drops of water on the bottom of the boat. The last one pulled out his laptop to write a white paper covering their involvement in the race.

At the half way point, it started to rain. On the Microsoft boat everyone reached into their back pocket for their portable raincoats. They all slipped into their raincoats without missing the boat. On the IBM boat, several of the managers unrolled and climbed under a tarp. the lawyer held up a large golden umbrella for himself and the VP. The rower was left in the rain, the managers decided it would help keep him cool.

The Microsoft team easily won, but the IBM boat finally finished. The zig-zag route the IBM boat took was still being discussed by some of the spectators. There was a friendly "see you next year" as the teams took their boats and went back to their busses.

The IBM team analyzed the competition to improve the outcome for next year. One manager took the boat to research to see what improvements could be done. The rower was promoted and another manager was demoted to rower. Two other managers were assigned to train the newly demoted manager. They went out and bought the best weights, and rowing simulators available. One of the training managers was replaced by hiring someone with outside experience (in training, not rowing).

The following year the newly refurbished boat and the team were field merged at the waters edge. The oars had new plastic grips and spoilers laser welded to their ends. a portion of the front of the boat had a newly developed superconducting paint applied. The whole boat would have been painted except the researcher had to take early retirement and there were no additional resources to complete the job. A laptop was hooked up to record oar torque efficiency, and stroke quality. A larger tarp lay in the bottom of the boat. The rudder was redesigned into several sections, each with cables so each manager could steer his own direction. The handle of the rudder had been removed. The lawyer now held a bigger megaphone for the VP. The VP also had a small bag of rocks he could use to throw at the managers.

The new IBM team now wore light weight casual suits, each a different shade of blue. several of the managers were now slimmer. They left their VW bus, got onto the boat, and took their assigned seats. The single well trained rower picked up the oars.

The Microsoft team looked about the same, except for new larger sweaters (they had been training too) and hats with a small NT on them. They quickly loaded their freshly waxed boat into the water and were soon ready to compete.

I need not tell you who won the second race.

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