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..: stories

..: Stupid Metaphor

Yesterday, I conjured another half-useful metaphor to illustrate a project schedule situation to one of our enthusiastic biz dev guys. "If you go to Subways," I say, "and you order a sandwich, it takes about two minutes for them to make it. But if you tell them to make it in 20 seconds, what will it look like? Maybe they can do it, but will it look good? Will the guy lose his finger cutting it in half?"

I went home thinking what a poor example that was. Maybe it should have been medical. "If you need a transplant, and it takes 5 hours, and you ask them to do it in 50 minutes, what will it look like?"

When I got home, KJ wanted to go to Togos. They had a special promotion happening until 8pm: they were giving away sandwiches-- #33, the California Club. So we drive over there, wait about 20 minutes in line. At the door, I get a ticket. The manager is there too, and he is very friendly, asking us how we are, that kind of thing. Kj and I are split up to two different sandwich engineers. Looks like everyone is on duty tonight; there must be 10 employees behind the counter. I give my ticket to my engineer and she makes the absolute fastest sandwich I've ever seen. She has everything at the ready. Bread - white, we're out of wheat. Buckets in front of her contain bell peppers, olives, onions and peppers. She produces the meat and cheese part from somewhere in a pre-measured portion exactly the shape of my sandwich. She adds veggies so fast I barely have time to yell out "No onions!" before she gets to the bucket of onions, which she skips. And then, she is done.

I am sure, this took less than 20 seconds.

I went to wait by kj, whose engineer is more careful. He must not be an engineer, I think his title is sandwich artist. He is taking his time, and creates a more beautiful sandwich for her.

Eventually, we get home, and we eat. The sandwich was good at the time. But here's the kicker - in the morning, I awake with a dull pain in my stomach. I recognize it immediately as minor food poisoning. I am out for the morning. I email in to work that I won't be there.

I have become a martyr for my own stupid metaphor.

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Dear Ragebomb,

I just read your story about the Togos sandwich and so-call related stomachproblem. I must clarify your loose and cavalier usage of the term "foodpoisoning". You often refer to your stomach pains as food poisoning... evenin Taiwan. According to Kaiser Permanente's Healthwise Handbook, foodpoisoning results in violent nausea, vomitting and diarrhea - not justcramping - which lasts 12 - 48 hours. Also, food poisoning is the result ofspoiled food (toxins)- in which case, the other partakers of the Togo'sshould also have come down with violent cases of illness as well. Perhapsyour malady would be better described as a "belly ache" or bad digestion.

Glad to hear your organs are happier,

..:.. ©1997-2003 RageBomb