Gary Fails Again!

Since we liked the whiteboard story, here are two more from the same period of my life.

I was doing consulting work at one point for the Australian Olympic Committee. Once when I was talking to their CEO, a really nice guy called Craig, I noticed he had a bicycle propped against the wall in his office. I said, "Oh, are you a bike rider?" Craig nodded and smiled.

A few days later, I discovered he had an Olympic Bronze medal for cycling.

Hint for any consultants reading this: it pays to research your client before you talk to him.

On another occassion I was doing work for a few days out at Argyle Diamond Mine, the largest source of pink diamonds in the world. It's a fascinating place, stuck in the back of beyond, in the unbelievably hot, dry Outback. The only way to get there is to fly for a couple of hours from the nearest town.

So there I was at the mine site, operations happening all about me, vast trucks the size of 3 story buildings rumbling in the distance.

Gary, walking past large piles of small black stones: "Where are the diamonds?"

Yes, I knew before I arrived that diamonds are naturally black, and I knew it afterwards too. I just didn't know it while I was looking at the diamonds.

With diamonds lying in heaps on the ground, you might be wondering what prevents people from collecting a few souvenirs.

There's a system of turnstile gates throughout the buildings on site, and between various sections. The gates whistle at random when people pass through. If you get whistled, you get strip searched. At each gate there's a room off to the side for boys, and another for girls, where security guys and gals are waiting for...errrr...customers. I noticed boxes of disposable gloves too, but that doesn't bear thinking about.

You have to sign away a few basic rights before you're allowed at the mine, such as the right not to be strip searched at random, and the Federal Police check to make sure you're not a known diamond thief, thus leaving the field open for unknown diamond thieves and wannabees.

You're waiting to find out what happened to me, aren't you? I didn't get whistled, not even once. Sorry to disappoint. But I'd like you to imagine the rising tension as you approach one of these gates, several times each day, and the relief as you walk out the other side, safe until next time.

Despite the elaborate precautions there were apparently some known thefts around the time I was there. A few months later I noticed an article in the newspaper saying some people at the mine had been charged. Have you worked out who yet? They were...some of the security guys!

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