How Salty do you Like Your Coffee?

When I was a student I worked in a coffee shop. It was a great job, friendly customers, lovely employees and a fantastic boss.

There was only one problem.

Occasionally there was a bit of a mix up at the serving hatch becasue the salt and sugar were kept in similar containers. Sometimes we put a spoon or two of salt into our customer’s coffee by mistake, not very often, and then we usually caught it before the customer drank it because Mary, the head server, kept an eye open for it. So it was nothing to worry about.

That is (of course) a made up story, nobody would be so stupid in real life, would they?

Over the past 20 years I have seen organisations where:

  • The mail always gets routed to the wrong office and is then couriered back
  • The stock database crashes every time somebody uses a redundant parts code
  • New orders are prioritised first and old orders get progressively older
  • Sales literature quotes two prices for the same product
  • There are over 1,600 telephone numbers into 1 call centre and they keep on adding them

None of these issues by themselves are worth the effort of fixing, each one is just a grain of salt. It is really hard to justify the expense of mending them.

Small things that are broken don’t go away, they just accumulate, leaving a bad taste in your mouth.

The coffee just gets saltier and saltier.

Sometimes processes just need to be fixed.

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By James Lawther @ The Squawk Point | June 17, 2013

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