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Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Post Number: 2865
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Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 4:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Since there are still multiple Lateral Adventures being solved I will keep working on mine and kill time with this one. As you will read, this deals with a real company that was mentioned in recent news reports, so feel free to participate if you are unaware of these reports but avoid early $poiling - thanks!


I heard on the news that a certain company is asking its employees to change their work habits in a way to better suit their customers. Ironically, this change may cause customers to complain but the company hopes they will understand that it is in their best interest. Personally, I believe that this company is becoming more like another one that is in a completely unrelated market, may or may not serve common customers, and is the butt of numerous jokes for the work habits of its employees.

So, can you figure out what the first-mentioned company is, what the un-related company is, and their lateral connection?

HINT: There is a humorous element involved
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 4:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten."

Is either company related to electronics? To computers? To food? Is the change in work habits related to another country?
Galfisk (Galfisk)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 4:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does the first company: make a product? Provide a service? Interact with customers: in person? On the phone? through the internet? Through other mass media?
Same questions for the second company.
Do you think the first company will be the butt of numerous jokes as a result of this? Will the company actually become better at serving customers after the change? Airliners relevant? Will the customers save money from the change? will the company save money?
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 4:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten." But we know that this doesn't always work either - at least in the case of Maximus (from 'Gladiator')

Is either company related to electronics? No
To computers? No
To food? #1 Yes, #2 No
Is the change in work habits related to another country? No
Does the first company: make a product? Yes, and...
Provide a service? ...this as well (at the same time)
Interact with customers: in person? Yes
On the phone? through the internet? Through other mass media? No to these
Same questions for the second company. The second company does not make any product, they only provide a service. They interact with customers in person, on the phone, and through the internet as well as mass media.
Do you think the first company will be the butt of numerous jokes as a result of this? Hard to say - I guess that depends on how many people make the same connection that I made and think that the same joke applies
Will the company actually become better at serving customers after the change? Good q - they honestly think they will, but at this time they have their customers and critics doubting
Airliners relevant? No
Will the customers save money from the change? No
will the company save money? No
Noel (Noel)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 4:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Company #2 sounds suspiciously like Google...is it?
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 4:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Company #2 sounds suspiciously like Google...is it?
No, neither company is related to computers or electronics
Balin (Balin)
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Post Number: 6503
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Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 9:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is company #2 a helpline? Is company #1 a restaurant? A manufacturer? Of food? Drink? Alcohol?
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 9:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is company #2 a helpline? No
Is company #1 a restaurant? Technically yes, but I don't know that I've ever heard anyone refer to it as this
A manufacturer? Yes, technically
Of food? To a small degree (but it's not made on-site), mainly...Drink? ...this
Alcohol? No
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 10:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the drink a juice? Tea? Soda?
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 10:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the drink a juice? Tea? Soda? It's none of these
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 10:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Water? Lemonade? Coffee? Hot chocolate?
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 10:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Coffee? Yes - are you surprised?
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 10:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No, and well I shouldn't....*sigh*

Starbucks?
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 2:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Starbucks? Yes
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 4:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fancy names of coffee sizes relevant? Is the change related to serving coffee? Employees forced to change behaviors - baristas?
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 3:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fancy names of coffee sizes relevant? No
Is the change related to serving coffee? Yes, this is part of it
Employees forced to change behaviors - baristas? Yes, precisely these employees
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 4:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the customers' orders relevant? Changing the way they ask for the orders? Change (as in money) relevant?
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 4:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the customers' orders relevant? Yes
Changing the way they ask for the orders? No
Change (as in money) relevant? No
Bentarm (Bentarm)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 4:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the service provided by company 2 entertainment? Aol? Disney? Dreamworks? Is it an American company?
A financial service? Is it a bank? an insurance company?

The starbuck's change. Do they intend to serve coffee slower? faster? to offer more choices? fewer choices? Does it relate to serving any other things? Hot chocolate? cake? cold drinks taken from a fridge?
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 4:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What's new, Bentarm? Long time no type!

Is the service provided by company 2 entertainment? No (other than providing fuel for jokes, but this isn't their intent)
Aol? Disney? Dreamworks? None of these
Is it an American company? Yes, it's American, but Yes-ish on "company"
A financial service? Is it a bank? an insurance company? None of these

The starbuck's change. Do they intend to serve coffee slower? YES
faster? So NO
to offer more choices? fewer choices? Neither
Does it relate to serving any other things? No, just their specialty coffee drinks
Hot chocolate? cake? cold drinks taken from a fridge? So none of these
Bentarm (Bentarm)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 4:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, I'm good, still plodding away at writing up my PhD, and yes, it has been something of a long time...

Is the other company the postal service? UPS?
Is it relevant why Starbuck's is planing to serve coffee slower? To make it look as though their stores are busier by increasing the length of the lines? To make it seem less like 'instant' coffee?
Bentarm (Bentarm)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 4:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the other company some other government-run semi-independent thing? A university? The IRS?
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 4:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the other company the postal service? YES
UPS? So no
Is it relevant why Starbuck's is planning to serve coffee slower? Not really - now that it's been discovered that the companies are Starbucks and the USPS the thing left to discover is the common business tactic and why it's funny
To make it look as though their stores are busier No, however...by increasing the length of the lines? ...this is what their customers and critics fear will happen.
To make it seem less like 'instant' coffee? Not exactly but you have the right idea.
Bentarm (Bentarm)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 4:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The jokes about the USPS - related to postal workers working slowly? being lazy? going on killing sprees? Not having the best interests of the customer at heart?
Are the longer queues that will develop in Starbuck's relevant?
Do their tend to be long queues in US post offices? relevant?
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 5:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The jokes about the USPS - related to postal workers working slowly? being lazy? Yes - both
going on killing sprees? No, no, no
Not having the best interests of the customer at heart? Yes, this aspect to a lesser degree
Are the longer queues that will develop in Starbuck's relevant? Yes
Do their tend to be long queues in US post offices? YES relevant? Yes
Noel (Noel)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 5:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is Starbucks going to start brewing one cup of coffee at a time? That would certainly slow things down!
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 5:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is Starbucks going to start brewing one cup of coffee at a time? No but you're OTRT (think 'specialty coffee drinks')
That would certainly slow things down! And the kicker is they know this will happen...
Kayleetonkslupin (Kayleetonkslupin)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 5:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Frappucinos involved? (*is craving double chocolate chip frappucino now...* *has no chance of getting one* *sigh*)
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 7:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Frappucinos involved? (*is craving double chocolate chip frappucino now...* *has no chance of getting one* *sigh*) I don't think so, the only drinks mentioned are the hot ones
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 7:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do they brew the coffee slower? At a lower temperature? Is the intent to keep the customers waiting? To get through the queue faster?

Wait - do they request that people not order specialty drinks? With those really long names? Like "half-caf double venti extra-whipped macchiatto no foam"?
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 7:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do they brew the coffee slower? At a lower temperature? Not these, but the idea of "slower" is OTRT (and think 'specialty coffee drinks')
Is the intent to keep the customers waiting? Not the intent, no, but a consequence that they feel will be understood by patrons
To get through the queue faster? NO - in fact, their motivation for this change is nearly an exact opposite of this!

Wait - do they request that people not order specialty drinks? With those really long names? Like "half-caf double venti extra-whipped macchiatto no foam"? No, not this
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 7:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do they want the customers to have to wait in line longer? To have shorter lines? To have multiple lines?
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 7:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do they want the customers to have to wait in line longer? No, they realize though that this change will lead to this but that patrons will appreciate the change so they'll accept the longer wait time
To have shorter lines? To have multiple lines? No
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 7:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they taking more care in preparing the coffee? Getting the customers' orders exactly right? Because the customer is always right (except when they're not)?
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 7:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they taking more care in preparing the coffee? YES
Getting the customers' orders exactly right? And yes
Because the customer is always right (except when they're not)? Perhaps this IS Starbucks' motivation and yet is NOT that of the USPS, but will we ever know for sure?
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 7:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do they have a special "section" for specialty drinks? For normal drinks? Me is thinking of the Starbucks Express prank....
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 8:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

-- -- -- NON FAT GRANDE SPOILER -- -- --

Starbucks is changing the way their baristas prepare specialty coffee drinks (lattes, for example), allowing them to make at most 2 drinks at a time. They feel this will allow the baristas to focus more on the drinks and make them fresher and allow them to complete all the prescribed stages of drink preparation. Of course, this means that service will be slower so lines will be longer as customers wait to order. Compare this to the (in)famous US Postal Service, which is notorious for long lines, slow counter service, and is rumored to have either lazy employees or union workers who refuse to work faster despite long lines.

So I wonder...as Starbucks implements this change, will they become the butt of jokes like the USPS? For example:

I remember when the Postal workers started a slow-down strike for a pay raise.
They had to call it off -- nobody noticed.

What's the difference between a chess player and a postal worker? A chess player moves every now and then.


Only time will tell...


Very nice job of quickly solving this one to all who participated!
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 8:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good puzzle, and good jokes!

How are pi and a line at the postal service alike? Both are totally irrational and go on to infinity.
Gregoryuconn (Gregoryuconn)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 8:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Balin, I laughed at your joke about long orders. You should hear my mom's "venti half-caf latte with three-quarters half-and-half and one-quarter whole, with restretto and no foam. And there's no such thing as double venti. That would be 40 ounces.
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 8:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hee hee, I was actually thinking of a couple "Pearls Before Swine" strips when I guessed that - that's my favorite comic strip.

Customer: "Hi, I'll have a tall mocha-latte non-creamer dairy style decaf cappucino."

*blank staring*

Rat: "Say 'one regular coffee' or I punch you in the head."
Kayleetonkslupin (Kayleetonkslupin)
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Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 8:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My mother: Venti skinny vanilla latte with one Splenda.

Much easier than when I had to remember to say, "Venti nonfat sugar-free vanilla latte with one Sweet&Low" (She changed sweeteners after learning about the 'skinny' thing, because my father informed her that Sweet&Low and aspartame can cause cancer. Never mind that he equated them, when aspartame is Equal, or NutraSweet, don't remember which, but she avoids those too when we go out. Still drinks diet soda though. Ick.)

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