Thursday, June 18, 2009

Psalm 23

At the office our General Manager called a "staff meeting" today. Though why he wanted to hold a meeting with a bunch of hiking sticks is beyond me. You know; as in "Thy rod and thy STAFF, they comfort me?"

Sorry.

But that tendency of mine to see possible puns in many everyday conversations is what prompted this post. A little background is in order.

My company makes a product that we ship out to customers in granular form. It looks kind of like coal, but much more expensive. We use railroad hopper cars to send it forth. Sometimes we'll send a LARGE shipment in a barge, propelled by a tugboat along the Intracoastal Waterway to either its final destination or to an intermediate one (like a port where it will be trans-loaded onto a ship for international customers).

One such barge-load of product left our plant several months ago, but before it reached the port of Houston (to be loaded onto a ship) the intended customer called to cancel the order. This was about the time the market for our stuff REALLY started going soft.

Rather than pay to bring the barge back to our plant and unloaded, we called all our customers and offered the material to them at a discounted price. Good deal for them, and for us (saving the unloading costs).

Nobody wanted it. NOBODY was buying our product at that point.

While we waited for someone to make an offer, we began referring to the shipment as "the orphan barge." Unloved, unwanted, nobody to take care of it. *sniff *

We have finally bitten the proverbial bullet and had the poor lonely thing brought to the plant, but have waited to unload it, still hoping that somebody will buy its contents from us.

Today, at the staff meeting, a decision was reached to unload the material from the orphan barge.

Unable to resist such an opportunity, I spoke up and said, "You know, we've been talking about that orphan barge for months now. I think we should just name it Annie."

Thus ended the meeting. Some had the courtesy to laugh; most simply groaned.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. . ."

Yeah, I ducked out through the nearest door before the stones started flying.)

3 comments:

jan said...

You might want to hang on to your day job.

kenju said...

Well, I think it was funny!! It's good to have someone around who can lift the mood like that.

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