The Quixotic Executive was quite excited. On the 14th Tee, the topic of the Orbcrest Award came up and the executive was intrigued. After some research, the executive’s assistant determined the Orbcrest Award was the pinnacle achievement in the field of quality. Winning the award brought international recognition as a world-class company. The Quixotic Executive had been searching for a means to bring improvement to the Company. The method had been chosen.
The Quixotic Executive decided the Company must win the Orbcrest.
The Rational Man was an expert in the field, with many years of experience with the Orbcrest Principles. It was no surprise the Quixotic Executive wanted to hire him to be the spearhead for Project Orbcrest.
“How long will it take to get the Company to the point of winning the Orbcrest?” the Quixotic Executive asked.
“After the quality management system is established, I would say, assuming commitment from the Company, about ten years.” The Rational Man responded.The face of the Quixotic Executive just discovered Santa Claus was not real.
“Um,” the executive said quietly, “is there any way to speed it up?”
“Oh certainly.” the Rational Man replied enthusiastically. “I didn’t realize how committed the Company was to adopting the Orbcrest Principles. Ten years is the average. You should be able to shave a few years off with enough resources.”
“Oh.” The Tooth Fairy vanished into myth as well. “I was thinking more in the range of next fiscal year.”
Laughter burst from the Rational Man. It only required a few seconds to realize the Quixotic Executive was quite earnest and the Rational Man’s laughter was pummeling the equivalent of the Easter Bunny into oblivion.
“Ahem.” The Rational Man cleared his throat. “Next year may be, um, well, to be blunt it is impossible. Even with the full commitment of the Company.”
“That, er, hasn’t been established yet. Part of your duties would be to get full endorsement from the executive for the Orbcrest principles.”
The Rational Man sighed. After a promising phone conversation and the start of this interview, it was obvious the contract could not work out. He knew what he had to do.
“I’m sorry, but it’s clear that the job you are proposing cannot be done.”
“But you are the best in the City!”
“Maybe. But I know I could not do what you asked.”
“Are you certain?” The pleading puppy dog eyes of the Quixotic Executive fired a neuron in the Rational Man’s brain. It said to get a stick and beat some sense into that face.
The Rational Man stood up ignoring the impulse for he was the rational man.
“Very. Thank you for your time.”
“How about in two years!” the Quixotic Executive blurted.
“I’m sorry. I really must be going.” the Rational Man edged towards the door.
“OK! OK!” the Quixotic Executive was frantic. “How about you just sell the idea to the executive.”
The Rational Man paused at the door.
“I’ll double your current rate!”
“I’ll start Monday.”
The Rational Man was not a Stupid Man.