Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rancho Capistrano Part 2 (Peanut Butter River)

In this picture, my partner Ted is standing to my left. The instructor thought he looked like Richard Gere. The second exercise in the afternoon of the first day was "Peanut Butter River". I will just set up this exercise and not explain how we completed it. There are 2 ropes laid out parallel in a field about 100 feet apart, which delineates the peanut butter river. There are four upside-down cups in the river which we are to get the contents of. We are to cross the river as a team of eight people and get the contents along the way. Half of us are blindfolded going across one way and the other half are blindfolded coming back. At no time are we allowed to step into the river and we have carpet squares to stand on. We are two squares to start with and 10 Tootsie Rolls. It costs three Tootsie Rolls to buy another carpet square before we start. It costs five Tootsie Rolls to buy another square after we enter the river. We lose Tootsie Rolls if we step into the river on the way. Lastly, according to our company's LEAN policy, we must have a profit of Tootsie Rolls when we are done.

We spend a lot of time planning our strategy and coming to a consensus as well as practicing on the squares. Let's just say that we had to stand extremely close together to accomplish this. On the trip back, there was an extra twist where the two cups were not in-line perpendicular to the river. I, in my engineering mindset, wanted to cut a shallow angle between the cups and had to create consensus with that plan. After agreeing to be the front person, I laid out the squares perfectly as everyone laughed at my complete 'C' analytical approach. The whole exercise took about two hours to compete and in the end, we had plenty of Tootsie Rolls to eat.

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