Monday, January 23, 2017

Joe and the $50 Bonus

Joe and the $50 Bonus

One of Joe's first jobs was working at a precision tool and die shop. Joe was detail oriented and spent a lot of time at his desk, pouring over his boss' drawings, sometimes redrawing them from scratch to his own liking.

"Joe! Just use my drawings! I can't have you wasting time!" said his boss. "So get to work!"


One Thursday morning, Joe's boss handed Joe some drawings and said "We need this done Friday! I have to deliver to a customer on Monday." 

Joe took the drawings and started to look them over.  

His boss immediately swatted the paper out of his hands. "Joe! Just build the die! Get to work!"


Once his boss was out of the room, Joe looked over the drawings. This particular die was designed to punch holes in a thick sheet of metal and then, in a second step, bend the metal along a fold. Once finished, it was essential to have the holes line up precisely with other parts. 

When Joe reviewed the plans, he noticed that the boss had made a calculation error in the way the metal folded that would have made the holes not line up properly.  Made according to the plans, this die would not have worked! 

"That's because, when you fold metal, you have to realize that the metal on the inside of the fold will bunch up, and the metal on the outside of the fold will stretch," Joe explained. "This moves all the metal around it." 

"His holes would not have lined up!" 

So Joe decided to play a little trick on his boss. 



He secretly corrected the plans and worked diligently all day Thursday and Friday and completed making the die. When tested, it worked correctly!

On Friday, the boss asked if the die was ready and Joe said he had finished but there was a problem. Made according to the plans, the die placed the holes in the wrong position.

Joe's boss let out a cry.  "Argh!  This is an important deal Joe! What can be done?"

Joe offered a solution: "Well, if I work all day Saturday and all day Sunday, I can redraw the plans and make another die and we can still get it delivered on Monday."

"You would do that?!" his boss said. "If you do that, I will pay you overtime for all the hours you work this weekend.

"Well," said Joe, "I normally make $4 per hour, so you will pay me $6 per hour for two days, or 16 hours?"

"Joe," his boss said, "If you can get it done and save this deal, I'll do it."

"Wow!" said Joe. "That's $96. I could sure use that money, but I will make you a deal, boss."


"What's that?" asked his boss. 

"How about you pay me $50 for catching your error," Joe said with a smile and plunked the working die on the table. "Here is the working die. There is no mistake in it.  I noticed the mistake in your drawings and I made the die correctly." 

His boss' eyes went wide and he took a deep breath. He grabbed Joe's hand and shook it vigorously and both men had a big laugh. 

From that point forward, Joe was permitted to review all drawings entering his shop and he went into the weekend $50 richer.