December 21, 2010

The Plier Solution

I actually invented a term during my tenure at Company X that not many people know of.

I call it – The Plier Solution.

It means, a simple straight-to-the point solution to a complex set of requirements set by a dimwitted boss.

How was this term originated? Well, back when I was with Company X, my job was to analyze failed electronics merchandise returned as part of the warranty claim from our end customers. But for some strange fucking reasons unknown to us, many of the returns were invalid. About 60 – 70% of the returns would be diagnosed with a ‘no trouble found’ finding from yours truly, and as you can see, it was none of my fault. There’s nothing I could do about it, because I couldn’t control what people choose to return to us.

But my then senior (superior actually) didn’t seem to think so. He must have thought I had the supernatural ability to mindfuck the customers to not send us too many stuff that are not defective. So, he conveniently set a goal for me and my group – to achieve less than 50% of ‘no trouble found’ rate on customer returns. I tried to protest over the dumbass idea, but the guy riposted with a crude remark that it was necessary to gauge our ‘competency level’ (the fucked up notion that we’re too incompetent to duplicate the defects customers reported) and refused to discuss any further.

So in order to illustrate how fucking dumb the idea was, I took a plier and showed it to my senior, and told him that a plier’s gonna be all I need to achieve that given goal, and even surpass it easily. How? Simple: Each time I get a ‘no trouble found’ merchandise, I’d use a plier to fuck it up bad and voila! It becomes a defect instantly. The cause? Physical damage to the board – blame it on freight handling, case closed. That way, I could steadily control my workload and my given objective, just with a fucking plier. Well, he still imposed on the plan though, maybe to not look bad in front of his direct reports. But he never really emphasized on needing us to achieve it after that.

That’s how the ‘Plier Solution’ came to be. I’ve implemented many ‘Plier Solutions’ in my working life before, and gotten shitloads of recognition for them – simply because the people who set the rules, aren’t really that fucking smart in the first place. *Snickers*

michaelooi  | enlightenments  | 

5 Comments to “The Plier Solution”

  1. ahsiang says:

    ah…. talking about “smart” management that has “smart” rules. Don’t screw it, use it smartly. Nice work Michael.

  2. einsamsoldat says:

    damn… I can relate to it. Just that I can make prediction of how many issues can be solved thru Monday till Friday. How to turn engineer a FUBAR crisis into opportunity :D

  3. MaN|acZ says:

    Brilliant idea!

  4. iamyuanwu says:

    I would love it if you would elaborate more on how you applied ‘the plier solution’ on other situations. It would be hilarious, and highly educational.

    I gotta learn to do that in my company too. Nyek nyek nyek!

  5. TiBuN says:

    Well I believe NFF is indeed a concern for those management because its always their thorn when dealing with customer. Imagine customer A comes and says “dude, you are shipping 10% rejects to us man” and management would probably say “yeah, but 8% is NFF anyway”.

    So it brings to the next steps, how should NFF be further troubleshooted. Your boss would probably need to get a team to investigate those NFF to make it happen (the goal metric), not the FA team. Too bad he just stopped there and let it flow.

The commenting function has been closed.