Blue Cat was on one of his many road trips when he was driving (well, being driven) through the desert between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. All of a sudden, the traffic went from really fast to this:
It was 5pm on a Monday – so where did the traffic come from? And why was it all going 5 miles per hour? That’s what Blue Cat wanted to know.
It turns out that the California agriculture inspection station was 20 miles ahead, and every out-of-state car (that would be us) had to stop and declare what agricultural products they had. Luckily, Blue Cat had bought his apples in Colorado, which (we guess) isn’t on the California black list.
The real question is – how much of people’s time and gasoline were wasted waiting in that enormous queue? (We won’t talk about the effect on global warming – it was over 100 degrees, so the car exhaust was probably cooling the atmosphere.) And for what benefit? Southern California hasn’t had a Medfly problem in decades – so just what were those inspectors protecting the region against?
Blue Cat learned an important lesson that day – you need to figure out if the value of a project or activity is worth its cost. Otherwise, all you do is trade one problem for another. And it helps to make sure that those involved understand the reasoning, or else their tempers might contribute to the warming of the atmosphere.
So keep that in mind, strategists! And keep an eye out for Blue Cat – he might be anywhere!
© William P. Doyle, Jr. 2012