Up the Creek Without a Paddle


It is funny how some phrases seem timeless and require no explanation.  I am not sure anyone can claim the origins of this one, but we all know what it means.  Recently, Dick Niess, my partner who helped us found Apogee, sent me a note indicating that the original place has officially been identified as the picture here indicates.  It is real.  It is in Pennsylvania and this is not a Photoshop ploy.

The engineer in me wants to correct the clarity of the desperation here and remind everyone that it is better to be up the creek than it would be to be down the creek.  This reminds me of the two ways to look at any situation:  is the glass half-full, or half empty?

The engineer in me wants to say, “You appear to have twice as much glass as you really need.”

Maybe the operative word here has more to do with the paddle.  That reminds me of the famous international competition between the American and the Japanese rowing teams.  The Japanese team had eight people rowing and one person steering.  The American team had two people rowing and seven people steering.  Needless to say, the Japanese team won.

So, the American team reorganized.  They fired one of the two people rowing and added a steering supervisor to manage the one person rowing.



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