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Where is it?

One thing I learned early is that the quickest way to bring your entire shop to a halt is to ask where something is.

What will happen is that every employee will immediately stop whatever it is they are doing and start wandering around looking for the missing object. There was even a time when I had the object in question in my hand and still ended up with a mystified crew.

I once voiced an opinion on this subject at lunch time. I said, ‘When I ask you if you know where it is, all I want you to do is either say no or tell me where it is. I don't want you to stop working to help me look for it. I am perfectly capable of wandering around looking. If I want you to help me look for it, I will ask you directly to do so. Otherwise just answer the question and keep working. Capice?’

Oh yes, I was assured that everyone understood. But the temptation, as with many other temptations that result in a short work break, turned out to be irresistible. And ultimately, I realized that the only way out was to not ask in the first place.


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