A company was having equipment problems and we’re stumped. They called an engineer who could fix anything. He drew an X on the bad part and sent a bill for 50 grand. The owner demanded an itemized bill. The man sent one that read ” fifty cents for chalk, $49,999.50 for the X.
I have a friend who is headed back east to pitch a great idea he has to FEMA. Obviously that’s awesome and I hope they use it. The problem is he’s a government employee. He will no doubt be compensated up to $10,000 extra and received a challenge coin but imagine what he could have made as a contractor.
Before my comedy career took off, I did something similar. I was recruited by Bell South to create a cellular program that would work at the retail stores of the huge companies like Circuit City. It’s called ‘Business Process Re-engineering’, which means throwing everything out and starting all over. I know!
I was the most hated man in the company because everyone was used to working 8-5, Monday through Friday. But I had to turn this public utility into a retail support team. So long evenings. Goodbye weekends. I always checked for a bomb in my car before going home. It took me 2 1/2 years and made many companies billions of dollars.
I had the same problem as my friend who’s pitching FEMA today. I should have done it as a contractor. I would have made millions. Instead I got a promotion, a trip to Chicago (I know!) and a pat on the back. I was such a sap.