Monday, August 13, 2012

I Love...Efficiency

Example One
I have a colleague at work who can write Excel macros that are pure magic. For work that would take me hours, maybe days, of manual checks and calculations, this whiz needs minutes.

It's such a talent that people from other departments try to borrow him constantly. Our boss finally had to put her foot down so he'd have time for his own work. I wonder if he shouldn't have his own department, providing business solutions to any group who needs them.

Example Two
Living in Germany, every family is responsible for their own elementary school supplies. You'd think Germany is extremely ordered – and it is. We have a list of twenty-one items to buy, described right down to the color and German Industry Norm number. I'm not kidding.

But that's not efficient. Every mother drives to the store and buys one German Industry Norm A5 Line Size 2 writing pad, one German Industry Norm A5 Line Size 5 writing pad, one German Industry Norm A4 Folder, brand Leitz, etc.

When I went to elementary school in the States, all the school supplies were provided in the classroom. That's efficiency. One mass order by the teacher. One delivery.

Example Three
Today, I sent a query to my dream literary agent. I've been reading his blogs and interviews for months. He's good at his job, freely dispenses helpful hints, and is downright funny. He's also known for getting back to everyone who queries him – something not every agent bothers to do.

Man, is he ever efficient. I sent my query at 1:38 PM today. He rejected it at 3:37 PM. He needed under two hours to determine that he's not interested in representing my 82,000 word novel.

Wait a minute – didn't this blog start out as one of my "I Loves"? Yes, it did. So here's the truth. As much as I'd fantasized that Dream Agent would offer to represent me, I love the fact that I'm not going to be sitting on pins and needles for the next 6-8 weeks, waiting for a response as described in the Literary Agency's website.

I love efficiency.

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