OK, that saves walking too

This IT pilot fish is called into a meeting with the plant manager and a dozen supervisors at a mostly automated manufacturing plant.

"The supervisors asked me if I could write a program that would automatically fill the daily spreadsheets they had to fill out and set up a report on a web page showing the data," says fish.

"I asked what information was in the spreadsheets and was told it was data concerning the output of the automated manufacturing machines. The program would save them from having to walk out to the machines -- which were on the other side of a glass wall and within 30 yards walking distance.

"So I asked them to clarify that they wanted me to somehow automate a process that would tell them how well the machines that were 30 yards away were operating.

"They confirmed that was the plan.

"The plant manager ended the meeting. The next week the maintenance guys began moving the supervisors' cubicles next to the machines."

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