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TQM in Action
(original, chuckle, true)

This is a true story.

 (TQM = Total Quality Management, in case you don't know the latest buzzword)

I wrote a glowing recommendation to a scholarship program for one of the most
outstanding high school students I have ever known.  Since it was a week
before the deadline, I asked the secretary to send it "Priority Mail."  She
attached a postage meter card and delivered it to the campus post office for
metering and mailing.

The day after the deadline, my letter of recommendation came back to me for
lack of postage.  I was furious.

After I called the scholarship program and arranged for them to accept a FAXed
recommendation a day late, I went to the post office, Priority Mail envelope
in hand.  With my anger under control, I told the manager how someone's
carelessness had nearly cost a young person $10,000 and had caused me a lot of
unnecessary work.

Rather than showing concern for eliminating future occurrences of the same
problem, the manager, somewhat defensively, came up with several explanations
for what might have gone wrong, each more creative than the last.

Frustrated, I indicated that I didn't care why it happened.  I just wanted her
to make sure that it didn't happen again -- to anybody.  Finally, she began to
get my message.  "When was it mailed?" she asked.

"Last Tuesday," I told her.

"Oh," she said.  "I wasn't here that day.  I was at a TQM Seminar."

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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