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A Man and His Machine (Snow Blower)

I get lots of stories, sometimes about personal issues. But, none more touching than a businessman and his snow blower. It is early in the winter and lots to do but no sense taking a snow blower for granted. Here is the review:

Interoffice Memorandum

To: My Craftsman 9hp Snow Blower
Copy:
Permanent File
Date:
December 22, 2008
Subject:
Job Well Done & 30-day Review

Good Afternoon Snow Blower:

I just want to thank you for a job well done this morning and to take this opportunity to do your 30-day performance review. I think we have a lot to celebrate as well as improve in the season ahead of us.

I know the work this morning was tough. We had a big dump and it required a couple of passes to complete the job. I appreciate your open mind in light of difficult working conditions. I also appreciate your thoughts on how to make the job simpler. Just understand that I have my reasons for doing it the way we did. I’m sure you think you can do my job better than me and that I never share the credit when congratulated for a job well done — hey, that just goes along with being management. No disrespect.

A few observations that I’m confident will make us both more productive over the next few months. First, I want you to know that I have complete confidence in your abilities. You came very well recommended, and while you don’t have the “ivy league” credentials of some of your peers (I.e. John Deere and Ariens), it’s really all about hard work. I too am from modest beginnings, so I see a lot in you that I see in myself. You might only be a 9hp but you’re truly working at a 12hp level.

I’ve been sensing some resentment lately and that you’re feeling rather under appreciated and sometimes taken for granted. For example, I recently overheard you talking about how I used to treat you better. For the record, I’ll remind you that just because I now only spend $1.69 per gallon on gas versus $4 earlier in the season, that doesn’t mean I don’t value your quality of output any differently. Further, my bringing the 7hp out of retirement on a temp basis during your short term disability (auger belt replacement) shouldn’t leave you feeling anxious about job security. Even though it’s going to be a rough year, you’re worth the extra cost and I’m not considering outsourcing your job to “the plow”.

On a final note, it may be a little premature to discuss this given your young age, but it’s never too early to plan. I’ll make time soon to review your retirement benefits. We’re a little “old school” here and offer pension benefits rather than a cafeteria style 401k plan. But if you look at my prior models, you’ll see they’ve had nice sunset years – including moving to new homes in North Wayne (snow blowers retire to the north, not south, which also explains why you won’t be going with us to Florida later this week).

The season has just started and we have long way to go yet. So before you start complaining, keep in mind others who are less fortunate. Just remember, you could be clearing sidewalks in Livermore Falls or working at the Super Wal-Mart — the roof is very big you know. Thanks again for your dedicated service.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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