Feb2010

The Managing Director of the reasonably-sized electronics firm was a real technophile

The Managing Director of the reasonably-sized electronics firm was a real technophile. When he spotted new technology he thought might improve the performance of his workforce, he deployed it as quickly as he could.

Over the past few years, the company had grown at an outstanding rate. So much so, that last year, the small premises that it had occupied was no longer sufficient to meet its needs. So the Managing Director decided that a move to a larger office space was in order, and, being a shrewd fellow, he realised immediately that he could make some cost savings during the transition.

You see, although his existing offices supported a wired Ethernet network, the Managing Director felt certain that a wireless network would be just the thing for the new place. Not only would he save on cabling costs, it would also enable the staff to roam the offices, working wherever suited them best.

During the first two weeks at the new premises, all seemed to be going according to plan. The new wireless network was behaving itself remarkably well and the employees were all impressed by the leadership that their Managing Director had displayed by having it installed.

Sadly, however, after the two week honeymoon period was over, the network appeared to be working far below its initial capacity. Oddly enough, however, the drop in performance only happened between the hours of mid-day until two.

The Managing Director was very puzzled by the whole affair, so he called upon his very own team of electronic engineers to find out what was going on.

Now, as it happened, the Technical Director of the company was a very bright spark indeed. He quickly realised that something in the new offices must have changed to cause the effect after the two week period. So he called in the Services Manager to account for any changes to the building during that time.

The Services Manager was quick to point out that the only change he was aware of was that a small kitchen area had been created to enable the staff to cook themselves lunch. That area had been duly fitted out with a variety of electrical equipment - including four new microwave ovens - not just to cut down on cooking times but increase staff productivity as well.

The Technical Director immediately realised what was happening. The consistent use of the microwave ovens during the lunch hours was effectively bringing the new network to its knees, a fact he swiftly pointed out to the Managing Director.

Well, I’m pleased to report that a solution to the problem has now been found. The microwave ovens have all been disposed of according to the Waste Equipment Directive and the network is now working to its full capacity again.

Sadly through, the staff now have to bring in cucumber sandwiches each day, since the Managing Director considers that replacing the microwave ovens with conventional ones would mean that far too much of their valuable time would be wasted cooking lunch.
This comment was originally published in the Electronicstalk Newsletter

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About the Author

Electronicstalk and this Editor's Blog are edited by Laurence Marchini

Laurence Marchini

Laurence Marchini began his career in the electronics press with the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1980, cutting his teeth on a variety of learned and member publications, ranging from IEE Proceedings to Electronics and Power. He moved on to join the launch team of the innovative weekly Electronics Express in 1986, and became Editor just 18 months later. Sadly, Electronics Express lasted just four and a half years, wound up by the infamous Robert Maxwell. However, Laurence had already jumped ship and joined the world of electronics PR with the agency of the 1990s, Smith and Jones Communications. It seemed Laurence was lost to the world of journalism. But after 11 years we managed to lure him back as launch editor of Electronicstalk. Laurence is married to Sally and has a young son, Alexander.

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