Overheard at the Airport...

One side of a conversation overheard at the airport:

"So, you will add a piece of cardboard?"

"O.k., right. Yes, but it can't be just a piece of cardboard, it needs to be one of those corner guards."

"Right, you should shrink wrap it too. Like we do for all other pallets."

I'm not even 10% sure what this is about. But a few unfortunate thoughts cross my mind:

1) Why is someone at the airport mandating shipping standards to someone else who is probably doing the work?

2) Are there not shipment standards in place?

3) Seriously, am I hearing a conversation over which cardboard to use to protect the skid?

4) Why do I need to tell somebody to do something that they do on every other job?

Not to jump to conclusions, but if I were a manager overhearing this conversation - I would have a lot of questions. Possible lack of standards being the main focus of my questioning.

When we talk about the competitive nature of U.S. industry and wonder out loud how we will recover - I have to consider how many millions of times per day this level of inefficiency occurs because of the sheer lack of standards. Again, I'm likely jumping to conclusions, but a line of questioning about what standards exist would reduce the level of possible micromanagement and grief that goes hand-in-hand with these overheard conversations.

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