To Keep Your Minds Lumber

This is by Lin Ka-Ming (aka Magus Firecow). This was on alt.callahans a few years ago. We need for him to finish his degree and come back.

“I met a coupla old friends of mine the other day. They’re brothers and both of them are lumberjacks. (And they are O.K., if you must know) Last time I had seen them, they had decided to strike it out on their own and quit their tree-cutting jobs with the big company to go into the logging business for themselves. They were excellent lumberjacks, but unfortunately, they were lousy businessmen. As an example, one of their biggest costs was replacing axes. Chopping trees for a living means you go through quite a lot of axes. The method they came up with for keeping track of the axes was pretty ridiculous. Instead of doing a proper inventory of what tools they had, they just used tallys to keep track of how many axes each of them went through on any given day. they did this by whittling off a pencil sized piece of the axe and stuffing the piece behind their ears. Often these pieces would fall out, which would lead to them completely running out of axes and missing the deadlines on their wood chopping contracts. Well, when I ran into them again, they told me that they had gone bankrupt. I asked them if they had at least learned anything from the experience, and they said: ‘Yeah, never again will we keep our axe counts in our ears.'”

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