Originally created 05/15/98

Successes didn't hear the experts

Truth is more of a stranger than fiction.

-- Mark Twain

There is probably no more frustrating feeling than to know you're right, but have a boss or supervisor tell you you're wrong.

Well, don't give up.

It's happened to the best of them, as consultant John Agno points out in the examples of wrongheadedness.

"The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication." (Western Union memo, 1876.)

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." (Kenneth Olson, president and chairman of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.)

"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a C, the idea must be feasible." (A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith proposing a reliable overnight delivery service. Mr. Smith went on to found a company he called Federal Express.)

"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this." (Spence Silver on the work that led to the adhesives used on Post-It notepads.)

THANK GOODNESS IT'S FRIDAY: "Bosses who lie" is the top pet peeve of secretaries, according to a poll by the American Management Association.

Other peeves include bosses who don't give clear instructions, supervisors who don't tell you their whereabouts and managers who take credit for the work secretaries do.

MAILBAG: Some vacation post cards are coming in. Sandra, Shirley and Ronald Johnson send greetings from Las Vegas and Los Angeles. And Jim and JoAnn T. of Waynesboro, Ga., send a card showing the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. They write: "Have you visited the Space Center? There is a bus tour, movies seen on a five-story high screen, restaurants, etc. Plus it is a wildlife refuge."

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Why are days numbered, and not, say, lettered?" -- Woody Allen.

QUESTIONS THEY CAN'T ANSWER: Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food? When a pet bird sees you reading the newspaper, does it wonder why you're staring at the carpeting? When you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn?

TODAY IN HISTORY: Richmond County votes "wet" will allow alcohol sales, May 15, 1935.

TODAY'S JOKE: Two older women were discussing a local doctor after church.

"I admire him tremendously," one said. "He's so perservering in the face of medical adversity that he always reminds me of Patience sitting atop a mountain."

"Perhaps," said her friend, "but I'm more concerned about the monuments sitting atop his patients."


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