The Magliozzis' Employee of the Month

Mar 30, 2009

RAY: This is from my satellite communications series. Pay attention!

Like lots of employers, Tommy and I have recently become very concerned about the rampant use of cell phones in the workplace and the obvious effect on productivity.

Several years ago at the shop, Crusty organized our workers and we inadvisedly agreed to three-hour European lunch breaks and 45-minute morning and afternoon cappuccino breaks.

We didn't think productivity could sink any lower, but then we began to notice that all of the guys were on their cell phones constantly. So we laid down the law. No more cell phone use during business hours, except for the aforementioned 4.5 hours of break time every day. And no exceptions. If we catch you on your cell phone when you're supposed to be working, you're fired!

Everything went as expected for about two weeks. Then one day we assigned Crusty the job of finding a tanzanite earring that had found its way into the defroster vents of Lady Schnerdling's Jaguar. And as always he got right to work. Within a few hours Crusty had the dashboard in pieces. He had torn out the instrument cluster, the radio, the heater controls, and most of the duct work. It was a mess of wires and cables everywhere.

It was just after lunch when we saw Crusty sitting in the Jaguar's driver seat, out of view (or so he thought) and then it happened. He took out his cell phone and began to use it. As Tommy and I rushed to kick Crusty to the curb for violating the no-cell-phone rule, we saw something that stopped us in our tracks.

He was using his cell phone alright, but instead of a harsh rebuke and a pink slip, Crusty got a high five and an 'Employee of the Month' citation. So, how did Crusty escape our wrath?
RAY: Here's the answer. Crusty was not using his cell phone to call his bookie. He was using it as a camera to take photographs, so he would know how to put the Jag's dashboard back together. Now before you complain that this was a lousey puzzler, we in fact had a similar thing happen in the shop not long ago. We laid down the law about making calls on company time and all the guys complained that they'd never be able to put anything back together if they can't take pictures of it! So there.

TOM: Yeah, exactly.

RAY: So who is our winner?

TOM: The winner is Jesse Horst from Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. And for having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Jesse's going to get a $26 gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at with which he can get one of our endangered Massachusetts grease monkey travel mugs.

RAY: Well, congratulations, Jesse!

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