The Consultant (Not Rumplestiltskin)
My intent is not to plagiarize the classic tale of Rumplestiltskin (Grimm, 2017), but to begin my blog on quality consulting with a bit of humor. Humor is good for the health (Johnson, 2009)
I chose a consultant for no particular reason, but chose quality, because it is something that I am familiar with, and will be writing about (in a more dry tone). For those who are not familiar with quality, an NCMR is a Non Conforming Material Report. MRB is Material Review Board, and the MRB cage is a place where non conforming materials are kept under lock and key until a decision is made whether to scrap, use as-is, rework, etc…
I found the original story by the brothers Grimm on Google and modified the characters and details. For purposes of romanticizing the story, left much of the text intact. I hope that you enjoy it:
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Once there was a welder who was underpaid, but who had a beautiful daughter. Now it happened that he had to go and speak to the Business Owner, and in order to make himself appear important he said to him, "I have a daughter who can close NCMRs and increase profitability overnight."
The Business Owner said to the welder, "That is an art which pleases me well, if your daughter is as clever as you say, bring her to-morrow to my office , and I will put her to the test."
And when the girl was brought to him he took her into the MRB cage which was quite full of NCMRs, gave her a laptop and a printer, and said, "Now set to work, and if by to-morrow morning early you have not closed all of these NCMRs and increased profitability during the night, you must die."
Thereupon he himself locked up the MRB cage, and left her in it alone. So there sat the poor welder’s daughter, and for the life of her could not tell what to do, she had no idea how to close NCMRs and increase profitability, and she grew more and more frightened, until at last she began to weep.
But all at once the door opened, and in came a consultant, and said, "Good evening, mistress welder, why are you crying so?"
"Alas," answered the girl, "I have to close NCMRs and increase profitability, and I do not know how to do it."
"What will you give me," said the consultant, "if I do it for you?"
"My necklace," said the girl.
The consultant took the necklace, seated himself in front of the laptop , and clickety, clickety, clack, tab –enter, and an NCMR was closed, then he did another one, clickety, clickety, clack, tab –enter, three more NCMRs were closed. And so it went on until the morning, when all the NCMRs were closed, and profitability was greatly increased.
By daybreak the Business Owner was already there, and when he saw the profitability he was astonished and delighted, but his heart became only more greedy. He had the welder’s daughter taken into another MRB cage full of NCMRs , which was much larger, and commanded her to close those NCMRs, also in one night if she valued her life. The girl knew not how to help herself, and was crying, when the door opened again, and the consultant appeared, and said, "What will you give me if I close those NCMRs and increase profitability for you?"
"The ring on my finger," answered the girl.
The consultant took the ring, again began to tap away at the laptop, and by morning had closed all the NCMRs and increased profitability.
The Business Owner rejoiced beyond measure at the sight, but still he had not profitability enough, and he had the welder’s daughter taken into a still larger MRB cage full of NCMRs , and said, "You must close these, too, in the course of this night, but if you succeed, you shall be my wife."
Even if she be a welder’s daughter, thought he, I could not find a richer wife in the whole world.
When the girl was alone the consultant came again for the third time, and said, "What will you give me if I close the NCMRs for you this time also?"
"I have nothing left that I could give," answered the girl.
"Then promise me, if you should become Owner’s wife, to give me your reserved parking space."
Who knows whether that will ever happen, thought the welder’s daughter, and, not knowing how else to help herself in this strait, she promised the consultant what he wanted, and for that he once more closed the NCMRs and increased profits.
And when the Business Owner came in the morning, and found all as he had wished, he took her in marriage, and the pretty welder’s daughter became a rich bitch.
The owner’s wife was horror-struck, and offered the consultant all the profits of the company if he would leave her the parking space. But the consultant said, "No, a place to park is dearer to me than all the treasures in the world."
Then the owner’s wife began to lament and cry, so that the consultant pitied her.
"I will give you three days, time," said he, "if by that time you find out where I am going in two weeks, then shall you keep your reserved spot." For he had given notice, and was leaving the company.
So the owner’s wife thought the whole night of all the organizations and competitors that she had ever heard of, and she sent a messenger over the country to inquire, far and wide, for any other names that there might be. When the consultant came the next day, she began with Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop, and said all the names she knew, one after another, but to every one the consultant said, "That is not where I am going."
On the second day she had inquiries made in the neighborhood as to the names of the companies there, and she repeated to the consultant the most uncommon and curious. Perhaps you’re going to ATK, or ULA, or GE, but he always answered, "That is not where I am going."
On the third day the messenger came back again, and said, "I have not been able to find a single new company, but as I came to a high mountain at the end of the forest, where the fox and the hare bid each other good night, there I saw a little house, and before the house a fire was burning, and round about the fire quite a ridiculous little consultant was jumping, he hopped upon one leg, and shouted -
'To-day I make stew in a large stew-pot,
Tomorrow I'll have a reserved parking spot.
Ha, glad am I that no one knew
that toward Space-X I shall trot!'"
You may imagine how glad the owner’s wife was when she heard the name. And when soon afterwards the consultant came in, and asked, "Now, mistress owner’s wife , where am I going?"
At first she said, "L-3?"
"Perhaps you’re going to Space-X?"
"The devil has told you that! The devil has told you that," cried the consultant, and in his anger he plunged his right foot so deep into the earth that his whole leg went in, and then in rage he pulled at his left leg so hard with both hands that he tore himself in two.
Grimm, Brothers, Rumplestiltskin Accessed athttp://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/Rum.shtml on January 2, 2017.
Johnson, B (2009) Individual Creativity and its Association to Individual Productivity in the Workplace, ProQuest: (Dissertation) UMI Number: 3376002.