Engineers Strung Up by Thumbs

thumbs up         United Parcel Service is said to be thumbing its nose at the once much acclaimed DIAD IV. While smaller in size and loaded with gizmos, DIAD IV has proven to be a real honker. In a business where time is money and keystrokes are measured in dollars, drivers are fumbling away the company’s profits.
        Problems first began to arise when engineers, more concerned about size than function, put letters and numbers on the same keys and added a “shift” button. “Size is everything,” design engineer Richard Head explained. “I’ve finally proved that smaller is better.”
        But the shift key has proven to be a real boondoggle, with drivers often having to break, stand off to the side and fumble with the keyboard. What was once a smooth delivery routine has turned into a battle of the thumbs, with some drivers even having to void out their previous work and go back and try it again. Communicating with DIAD IV has become a real challenge, drivers often typing lengthy messages only to accidently erase them with a single keystroke. “It’s a nightmare,” one driver recently complained as he threw his DIAD down, “whoever designed this thing ought to be strung up by his thumbs.”
        Apparantly UPS had the same idea. A recent audit of time being wasted using DIAD IV showed that the placement of the button that turns the signature screen around costs the company over a million dollars in lost time every month. It seems that one out of every 20 customers hits the button when they take the DIAD to sign. That causes the driver to take the board back, punch through the screens to return to the signature mode, and hand it back to the signer with the warning, “Don’t touch that button.” Placing the only active button during the signature process in the exact location where everyone holds the board was the last straw for UPS.
        Following in the Chinese tradition of simply executing anyone who causes emabarassment and financial loss, next month UPS will string up the entire engineering department by their thumbs. “It’s fitting,” a UPS spokesman boasted, “the punishment fits the crime.”