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More Productivity Campfire Stories

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When experts get together, they like to share tall tales. These were probably based in history but have been exaggerated over time. Here are a few more “campfire stories” we’ve collected.

The Lumberjack and the Chainsaw

Many years ago, there was a lumberjack who was known far and wide as the best tree-chopper in the forest. This was because he had the sharpest, strongest axe and thus was the most productive.

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© Flickr user angusleonard

One day, a package arrived at the lumber camp. It contained a strange device and a note explaining that it would revolutionize the lumber industry, and that a sales representative would be along in a few days to show how it worked.

The lumberjack picked up chainsaw, and spent a solid fifteen minutes swinging it at trees with all of his might. After all, this was how he had been chopping wood his entire career. Pretty quickly, he concluded that the newfangled technology was worthless and went back to his trusty axe.

Two days later, the salesman arrived. His first step was to show how to crank the chainsaw.

The Name Badge Scramble

For many years, a major international corporation held a training conference. Hundreds of employees from across the world would come into town for the big event, rekindling old friendships and engaging in important team building.

One year, a new administrator had been hired at headquarters named Sally. Her first major task on the job was to assist with organizing the conference, which included hand-lettering and sorting all of the name badges for the registration table. Sally spent many hours on this task and was excited about meeting everyone at the big event so she could associate names and faces.

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© Flickr user Highways Agency

Only a few minutes before arriving at the front desk, disaster struck. A gust of wind knocked the box from her arms, and the neatly organized name tags spilled into heap on the pavement. Panicked, Sally scooped them up and rushed into the hotel.

Just as she was trying to sift through the pile to get them back in order, the first participant arrived at the table. “Bill Parsons,” the man said. “You must be Sally.”

She apologized about the badges and began searching even more frantically. “I’ll find it in a moment Mr. Parsons,” Sally explained.

Bill laughed. “I wouldn’t worry about it, Sally. I’ve been working for the company for more than thirty years. Pretty much everyone knows who I am. Heck, let’s have a little fun with it.”

The old man reached inside the messy box of badges and grabbed one at random. “Eleanor Mitchen. I’ll wear this until she tracks me down and asks for it back.” Then Bill Parsons walked away laughing.

Within a few seconds, someone else was speaking to Sally. “I saw Bill Parsons wearing someone else’s name tag,” the stranger noted. “What’s going on?”

Sally explained and ended up giving the young man a random badge as well. Before she could really get to organizing the remaining items into alphabetical order, the line had started to form. People were digging into the box and grabbing the first name tag that came out. They all thought it was a fantastic way to get reacquainted with friends from years before. By the time breakfast was over, everyone had the correct badge and had met several new people. The opening speaker praised Sally for the “creative icebreaker.”

The next year, Sally didn’t bother to sort the name tags. She saved herself tons of time and helped make the conference a better experience for everyone.

Stay tuned for more campfire stories in future blogs! Or contact the consultants at AccelaWork for more details on the wisdom you can take from these stories.

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