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  1. Parables

    1. Slick Trick - from 
      1. Once upon a time, there was a former student, who was very resourceful in creating financial products and applying his creativity to his personal life.
      2. Before going on a one month business trip to Europe, he subleased his townhouse and garage, but wasn't sure what he would do with his Rolls Royce.
      3. Then he had an idea.  He drove his car to a downtown NY City bank and went in and asked for an immediate loan of $5,000. The loan officer was quite taken a back, and said he would require substantial collateral. "Well, then, here are the keys to my Rolls-Royce", the former student said. The loan officer promptly had the car driven into the bank's underground parking for safekeeping, and gave him $5,000.
      4. One month later, the former student walked through the bank's doors, and asked to settle his loan and get his car back. The loan officer checked the records and told him, "That will be $5,000 in principal, and $85.40 in interest." The former student wrote out a check, thanked the loan officer, and started to walk away.
      5. "Wait sir," the loan officer said, "while you were gone, I found out you are a millionaire. Why in the world would you need to borrow?
      6. The former student smiled. "Where else could I securely park my Rolls-Royce in Manhattan for a month and pay only $86?"
    2. Motivation - You Can't Take It With You.
      1. Once upon a time, there was once a former student, who was very successful at improving operations, but didn't feel completely satisfied with his work.
      2. Prays to God.  Could I come to heaven to improve operations? God says OK.
      3. Should change one rule: You can't take it with you. How about one small carryon bag? OK.
      4. He is assumed up to Heaven (Assumption). Meets St. Peter at the pearly gates. Can't take it with you. Calls God. OK.
      5. This better be good. What's in the carryon. Bricks of gold. Do you see pile over there, those are extra gold bricks. People use them for their gardens. Up here the roads and walks are made with gold bricks.
      6. What truly motivates people (here, in heaven and on earth) are quality relationships, not money (You should have donated those bricks to SJU).
      7. The fact that you can't take material things with you should be a hint that material things are not important.
      8. Relationships with people are important because you can take them with you.
      9. Follow a career and life that allows you to develop quality relationships.
    3. Repairing the phone - from 
      1. A former student wished to open a diner, but also live in a rural location.
      2. He decided to locate his diner near a major Interstate and live 10 miles away.
      3. His business was very successful.
      4. One day his pay phone stopped working.  After a few days, his business was down considerably.  Repeated requests for repair were not successful.
      5. Then he had an idea.  He called the phone company again and told them that there was no longer a rush.  The phone was now working fine -- except that now all the money came back after each call was completed.
      6. A repairman arrived within the hour!
      7. Moral of the Story: share the benefits of any improvements in operations with your clients.
    4. Buy machine factory (Lunch whistle) - from 
      1. A sweater manufacturer from the former Soviet Union wanted to improve his operations.
      2. Since he could now import US equipment, he came to the US to buy some modern equipment.
      3. While taking a long tour of the various machines, the noon time lunch whistle blew, and two thousand men and women immediately stopped work and left the building.
      4. "Your workers, they're escaping!" cried the visitor. "You've got to stop them.  Stop my tour."
      5. "Don't worry, they'll be back," said the American. And indeed, at exactly one o'clock the whistle blew again, and all the workers returned from their break.
      6. When the tour was over, the manufacturer turned to his guest and said, "Well, now, which of these machines would you like to order?"
      7. "Forget the machines," said the visitor. "How much do you want for that whistle?"
    5. Stop Being Late to Work - from A Ha Jokes - 
      1. Tom had this problem of getting up late in the morning and was always late for work. His boss was mad at him and threatened to fire him if he didn't do something about it. So Tom went to his doctor who gave him a pill and told him to take it before he went to bed. Tom slept well and in fact beat the alarm in the morning by almost two hours. He had a leisurely breakfast and drove cheerfully to work.
      2. "Boss", he said, "The pill actually worked!"
      3. "That's all fine" said the boss, "But where were you yesterday?"
    6. Quality Relationships - modification of Holy Trick - from 
      1. Once upon a time, there were four students, who were very good friends.  They had a group project to do for the past month.  They had all done their individual parts, but, because of scheduling conflicts, had not met for the final group meeting.  They decided to meet the day before the project was due.
      2. The day for the meeting came.  It was a beautiful day.  One of the students loved to play golf.  The hell with the school work.  I just gotta' play golf.  I'll call my friends, say I'm sick, and go play golf.
      3. St. Peter asks God why is He letting the student play golf.  God says that He created humans with free will.  But just watch.
      4. The student tees off and a gentle wind carries the ball to the green, right into the hole.  He scores his first ever hole-in-one.  The student was very happy.
      5. St. Peter says that this is out of hand.  Why did You let the student shoot a hole-in-one?  Why didn't You blow the wind the other way so the student did not get the hole-in-one?  God said that this student is a lousy golfer and heís never going to score a hole-in-one again in his life.  In fact, he didnít score the hole-in-one now.  It was God who blew the ball in.  But just think about it St. Peter.  Who is he going to tell.  Certainly not his three other firends.
      6. The Moral of the Story:
        1. Not being able to share you joys is what hell is like.
        2. Happiness in life is based on quality relationships.
        3. Remember, you can't take material things (car, house) with you, but can take quality relationships.
    7. School Church 
      1. Is it possible to be a good person and not go to Church? Yes.
                 Is it possible to be a good business person and not go to Business School? Yes.
                 Both institutions make your life easier, if you work at it.
      2. Is it possible to go to Church and not be a good person? Yes.
                 Is it possible to go to Business School and not be a good business person? Yes.
                 This usually happens when you go thru the motions and don't understand the big picture.
    8. Work Qualification Test - from A Ha Jokes - 
      1. Murphy applied for an engineering position at an Irish firm based in Dublin. An American applied for the same job and both applicants having the same qualifications were asked to take a test by the Department manager. Upon completion of the test both men only missed one of the questions. The manager went to Murphy and said.
      2. Manager: "Thank you for your interest, but we've decided to give the American the job"
      3. Murphy: "And why would you be doing that? We both got nine questions correct. This being Ireland and me being Irish I should get the job!"
      4. Manager: "We have made our decisions not on the correct answers, but on the question you missed."
      5. Murphy: "And just how would one incorrect answer be better than the other?"
      6. Manager: "Simple, the American put down on question #5, "I don't know.", You put down "Neither do I."
    9. The Sparrow - from 
      1. Once upon a time there was a non-conforming sparrow who decided not to fly south for the winter. However, soon the weather turned so cold that he reluctantly decided to fly south. In a short time ice began to form on his wings and he fell to Earth in a barnyard, nearly frozen solid. A cow passed by where he had fallen, and crapped on the little sparrow.The sparrow thought it was the end, but the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings! Warm and happy, able to breath, he started to sing. Just then a large cat came by, and hearing the chirping he investigated the sounds. The cat cleared away the manure, found the chirping bird, and promptly ate him.
      2. The Moral of the Story:
        1. Everyone who craps on you is not necessarily your enemy
        2. Everyone who gets you out of crap is not necessarily your friend.
        3. And if you're warm and happy in a pile of crap, you might just want to keep your mouth shut.
    10. Equation of earnings - from 
      1. Engineers and scientists will never make as much money as business executives. Now a rigorous mathematical proof has been developed that explains why this is true:
             Postulate 1: Knowledge is Power.
             Postulate 2: Time is Money.
      2. As every engineer knows, Work = Power * Time
        Since Knowledge = Power, and Time = Money, we have:
             Work = Knowledge * Money
      3. Solving for Money, we get:
             Money = Work / Knowledge
      4. Thus, as Knowledge decreases, Money increases, regardless of how much Work is done.
             Conclusion: The Less you Know, the More you Make.
      5. Note: It has been speculated that the reason why Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard's math program was because he stumbled upon this proof as an undergraduate, and dedicated the rest of his career to the pursuit of ignorance.
    11. Lost in a balloon - from 
      1.  Two hobbyists get into their balloon for an excursion. After a while, the wind unexpectedly picks up, and the balloon goes out of control. The two balloonists, with great effort, manage to keep the balloon stable, upright, and away from power lines. But they are lost. With more effort, they get the balloon near the ground. While floating over a country road, they see a man walking below. One of the balloonists calls down to him:
      2. "We're lost! Can you tell us where we are?"
      3. The man thinks for a while, looks down, looks up, looks down again, stares into space for a minute, and then cries out: "You're in a balloon!"
      4. The wind picks up, and the balloon floats off. After a moment, one balloonist says to the other: "That man must be a manager."  "Why?"
      5. "Three reasons. First, he took a long time to answer. Second, he was perfectly correct. Third, his answer was perfectly useless!"
    12. Job Definition - Editor-in-Chief
      1. Young editor at a major news magazine, attends retirement dinner of editor-in-chief, he advises human interest stories from Africa about natives adopting IT.
      2. Goes to Africa, meets villager with laptop.  They become friends.  Asks to visit village.  Native says used to be cannibalistic, but should be OK.
      3. Goes to village.  Everyone has own laptop, website, domain name.  Villagers helpful in giving info for story.  Editor asks if can speak with chief.  Friend says chief speaks English, but not that well.
      4. They go to chief.  Friend explains that editor wishes to be editor-in-chief.  Chief very happy to help.
      5. Editor goes to library and finishes story, uploads to magazine.  Very happy.  Editor comes back to chief, notices preparations for big feast.  Editor says thanks to chief for help.  He feels that some day he will be editor-in-chief.
      6. Chief says, "Don't worry, tonight you will be editor-in-chief."
  2. Poems
    1. "What Fifty Said" by Robert Frost
                           Text available at, also 
    2. "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
                           Text available at, also 
    3. "The Quality of Mercy" by William Shakespeare
      (From The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene I. Venice. A court of justice.
              Available from 

      1. The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
        It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
        Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
        It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
        'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
        The throned monarch better than his crown;
        His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
        The attribute to awe and majesty,
        Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
        But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
        It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
        It is an attribute to God himself;
        And earthly power doth then show likest God's
        When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
        Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
        That, in the course of justice, none of us
        Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
        And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
        The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
        To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
        Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
        Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.
    4. Serenity Prayer - by Reinhold Niebuhr
    1. Frederick P. Brooks. The Mythical Man-Month.  "Where a new system concept or new technology is used, one has to build a system to throw away, for even the best planning is not so omniscient as to get it right the first time." 
    2. A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours. - Milton Berle
    3. Thomas Jefferson
      1. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  From The Declaration of Independence.
    4. Albert Einstein
    5. Abraham Lincoln
    6. Manfredo Manete - curse of the unprofessional future professional.
  4. Helpful Websites
    1. Dilbert - 
    2. A Ha Jokes - 
    3. HumorShack - 
    - Scientists and Their Gods
    10. Next

                           (This page was last edited on August 30, 2006 .)