Last week I took some friends out to a restaurant, and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seems 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. I then
looked around the room and saw that all the wait persons had a spoon in their pocket.
When the waiter came back to check on our order I asked, "Why the spoon?"
"Well," he explained, "the restaurant's owners hired Andersen 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% 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 we finished talking, a metallic sound was heard from behind me. Quickly, the waiter replaced the dropped spoon with the one in his pocket and said, "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 impressed.
The waiter continued taking our order and while my guests ordered, 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 fly. 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."
"See," he continued, "by tying this string to the tip of...you know...we can pull it out over the urinal without touching it and that way eliminates 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."