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A husband and wife are travelling by motorcar from Brisbane to Melbourne.
After almost 10 hours on the road, they're far too tired to continue and decide to stop for a rest.
They park outside a nice-looking hotel and book a room, but they only plan to sleep for four hours or so and then get back on the road.
When they wake up and check out four hours later, the desk clerk hands them a bill for $450.
The man explodes and demands to know why the price is so high. He tells the clerk that, although it is a nice hotel, the price is outrageous. And, whilst admitting that the rooms are nice too, they're certainly not worth this ridiculous amount.
When the clerk tells him $450 is their standard rate, the man is insistent on speaking to the Manager.
The Manager appears, listens to him, then explains that the hotel boasts a proper Olympic-sized pool and big conference centre that were available for the husband and wife to use. 'But we didn't use them,' the man complains.
'Well, they were here, and you could've done,' explains the Manager. He goes on to explain that they could have taken in one of their shows, for which the hotel was famous. 'The finest entertainers from New York, Hollywood and Las Vegas perform here,' the Manager says.
'But we didn't go to any of those shows,' complains the man again.
'Well, we have them, and you could've done,' the Manager replies.
No matter what amenity is mentioned, the man replies, 'But we didn't use it!' The officious Manager is unmoved, and eventually the man gives up and agrees to pay. He writes a cheque and gives it to him.
The Manager is surprised when he looks at the cheque. 'I think you've slipped up sir,' he says, 'this cheque's only made out for $50.00.'
'No slip - that figure is correct,' says the man. 'I charged you $400 for sleeping with my wife.'
'But I didn't!' exclaims the Manager.
'Well, too bad,' the man replies. 'She was here and you could've done!'
Last Tuesday, we took some friends for a meal at a homely new restaurant called 'Mamma Mia's', and noticed that the waiter who took our order had a spoon in his shirt pocket, which seemed a tad strange.
When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I observed that he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket.
Then I looked around and saw that all the staff had a spoon in their pocket. When the waiter came back, I decided to challenge him. 'Hello! Why the spoon?' I said.
'Ah, well,' he explained, 'the restaurant's owner hired Hallam Consultants to revamp all our procedures. And, after several months of analysis, they concluded that the one most frequently dropped utensil was the common spoon. It represents an average drop frequency of 4.00 spoons per table per hour. If our personnel are more ably prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 14.50 man-hours every shift.'
As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he immediately exchanged it for his spare. 'I'll get another one next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get one now,' he smiled cheerfully.
I also noticed that there seemed to be string hanging from his fly.
Gazing around, I saw that all the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So, before he walked off, I challenged him again. 'Can you please tell me why you have string ... there?'
'Ha ha; certainly,' he smiled. Then he lowered his voice. 'Not everyone's so observant! You see, the same consulting firm also learned that we can save time in the men's room. By tying the string to the end of our 'thingy', we can haul it out without touching it and remove the need to manually wash our hands, thus shortening the time spent in the men's room by 50.45%.
I asked quietly, 'Excuse me, but, after you get it out, how do you, ahem ... put it back?'
'Well,' he whispered, 'I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon.'