photo of Uneven Cut Sandwich

Uneven Cut Sandwich

Cut My  #$@&%*! Morning Sandwich Correctly!

So I come into work this morning and I’m starving. I decide to hit the cafeteria for what, up until today, had been a very average, but serviceable sandwich. I’m talking a standard turkey and swiss cheese on wheat bread. No mayo, no mustard, no lettuce… just one step up from a prison sandwich. That said, today they crossed the line.

My sandwich was cut in a very half-assed fashion. Normally, a person cuts the sandwich from corner to corner in a perfect 45° degree angle. Today, it was some version of a 30° angle which I can stand. What the f*ck is happening? Where is the quality control? Doesn’t anyone care?

So I eat my sandwich. Yeah, I ate it. I was hungry and the flavor was unaffected by the horrible cutting. All the while I’m thinking about a presentation that was done at work a couple of years back by our IT Director. The theme of his presentation was about using the right amount of effort or “vigor” when doing your work (“work smart, not hard”). As he went deeper into the detail he used the example of a web application and its expected lifecycle. If something is going to be on the web, in use for 10 years or collect sensitive data it needs to have appropriate security and built for the long haul. Something to collect NCAA basketball pool entries… do it fast and dirty.

Well, people took that to mean they could put a minimal amount of effort into the work that they do. Well intentioned message, but poor outcome. My sandwich was a casualty of this travesty as someone couldn’t figure out that where to stop half-assing things and where to start taking pride in their work.

Map My Ride App logo

Map My Ride App logo

Map My Ride App

After I finish my morning sandwich I happen to check my morning ride time. Not great, but I had to be a little careful because of the ice. Mother Nature outsmarted me by giving me some warm temps to which I responded by removing my studded tires. What a “dum dum” Dane.

So as I’m looking at my riding time and comparing it with other days I’ve ridden I notice that the distance that I ride each day is not recorded consistently. No, I don’t move every day nor do I ride varying routes to work. I ride the same route to work every day and yet the variation in distance is almost .5 miles (.48 to be exact). How can this be? Are the same people that were cutting my sandwich also programmers and they half-assed the work they did on the Map My Ride app?

I realize that there are different levels of GPS tracking capability. At the highest level (that has a practical, civilian application) the accuracy is down to 1″. Yeah, pretty accurate. I probably don’t need that kind of accuracy in an app tracking my rides to work, but at the same time they tout accuracy to 15′. .48 miles is significantly different than 15′.

Mathematical Equation for Variation

Mathematical Equation for Variation

Almost 8% Variance

So I do the math and the variation in distance is almost 8%. I’m wondering if your paycheck was within 8% of the correct amount how you’d feel? What is your haircut was within 8% of being even? Okay with leaning in one direction or another to make your haircut look even? I’m assuming my sandwich was within the 8% of being cut to a perfect 45° angle, but who knows? Does anyone really work in quality control?

I realize the well intentioned “work smart, not hard” talk that our IT Director is not to blame for this. I actually don’t know who to blame or really is anyone should be blamed. The bottom line is that people should be taking pride in what they do. What happened to “do it right the first time?” Was it replaced by “good enough?”

Final Thoughts

Yes, this is a serious issue and use of #$@&%*! (grawlix) is warranted. And this entire situation makes me think back to an expression that my Dad used to use… “If you can’t find time to do something right the first time, when are you going to find time to do it again?” Right on Clark!