6000% Efficiency

A coworker asked me to help him troubleshoot a Microsoft Word problem.  He was trying recreate a hand drawing of how to fold a piece of packaging and he was having difficulty.  Word doesn’t enjoy sub 1/10th inch placement of objects and often raises a fuss when creating a drawing area inside a text area inside a drawing area inside a text area.  He’d created a mediocre hack job but found somethings wanting:

  • A dashed line was created by making a bunch of little lines, spacing them, then grouping them together instead of using the right-click -> format -> line style option.
  • Transparent figures where given white sublayers by creating white borderless boxes.
  • All the text was in a single text box with each piece being located with spaces and tabs of various sizes.

I was able to replace his work with a more accurate drawing in Publisher in about 10 minutes including a narrative of what I was doing.  I ask him how long his version took, “about six hours”.  I asked him if this was average and it apparently was.  This man is probably paid 50% more than me and received healthcare.  I felt bad when it turned out the guy I replaced was 50% better than me at my then job, but I am roughly 60 times faster at this job than he is.  I think I can make a reasonably strong productivity case for replacing him, should it come up in conversation.