Sunday, September 25, 2005

Lazy is a Relative ...

"Never stand when you can sit. Never sit when you can lie down." So my father often told me, his eyes atwinkle.
I think he may have thought of Frank Gilbreth. As a chemical enginer and plant manager he had a consuming interest in doing the work better. He enjoyed the tale Gilbreth used to describe his approach to the time and motion studies he performed in the teens and twenties of the last century.
"Take me to your laziest worker," he would tell the foreman as he arlrived to begin a new study.
That sounds a bit nuts at first. But you might consider this: In the harsh free booting capitalism of the teens and twenties any factory hand who was lazy in the sense of not doing the job would not last the day. So any worker still employed who was considered by his fellows to be lazy was the faster worker with the least surplus, or inefficient, motion.
Lazy is a relative term.
--ml

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