A timeless lesson on how consultants can make a difference for an organization...

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.

When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I noticed he also had a
spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around and saw that all the
staff had spoons in their pockets.

When the waiter came back to serve our soup I asked, Why the spoon?

Well, he explained, the restaurants owners hired Andersen Consulting to
revamp all our processes. After several months of analysis, they
concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It
represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per
hour. If our perso nnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of
trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift.

As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he was able to replace it
with his spare. Ill get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen
instead of making an extra trip to get it right now.

I was impressed. I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of
the waiters fly. Looking around, I noticed that all the waiters had the
same string hanging from their flies. So before he walked off, I asked
the waiter, Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string
right there?

Oh, certainly! Then he lowered his voice. Not everyone is so observant.
That consulting firm I mentioned also found out that we can save time in
the restroom. By tying this string to the tip of you know what, we can
pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our
hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39 percent.

After you get it out, how do you put it back?

Well, he whispered, I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon.