Wayback Wednesday: Fun with numbers

And with upper management, too.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

This IT pilot fish’s team is getting a new manager every year, and there’s a definite pattern behind it.

Each new manager would come in and tell the department to identify cost-cutting measures. When those were implemented and proved, the manager would show his cost savings to upper management and be promoted.

“When we were on our fourth manager,” says fish, “I submitted a detailed finding suggesting that we turn on the ‘power-save’ option for all laser printers throughout the building. We had over 100 at the time, and I had detailed information from our power provider showing how we would save thousands of dollars just by enabling the power-save option.”

Manager 4 leaps at the idea and has fish and his cohorts go around to every printer to turn on the power-save option.

Sure enough, the manager is promoted within the year.

Manager 5 arrives — and asks for cost-cutting measures.

This time, fish submits a detailed report showing that too many people are wasting time waiting for laser printers to warm up from power-saving mode. Fish's recommendation: Improve efficiency and reduce costs by turning off the power-save feature.

“The idea was accepted and my now angry peers and I went to each and every printer and disabled power saving,” fish says.

“When the sixth manager came on and asked for ideas, my peers threatened me, so I had to put away my next idea, which was to set the dots-per-inch settings on all printers to 300 dpi to save ink — though that would have been changed the next year due to the claim that paper was being thrown out due to readability issues.”

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