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A Post-Thanksgiving Status Update for Mom

Dear Mom,
It was great seeing you and the whole family over Thanksgiving. The food was fantastic, and I’m glad I didn’t have to pay for the dinner on QuickPay. I have become accustomed to the HBS way of doing things, and a few things therefore concerned me during my visit:

1) It would have been nice if you raked up the leaves and scrubbed the oil-spots off the driveway before I arrived. I have grown intolerant of sloppy grounds keeping.

2) Instead of the job-shop setup you had (putting mashed potatoes on every plate and then turkey on every plate, etc), I think you should have instituted an assembly-line system that would have gotten dinner’s cycle time down and moved us all on to the “passing out on the couch” function.

3) You did a horrible job of pulling together a diverse and multi-cultural experience for me. Everyone around the table had the same ethnic background and the female and international perspectives were under-represented.

4) I don’t think I was given clear enough feedback in the middle of the meal. I would have taken my elbows off the table and eased up on the mashed potatoes if someone had just told me earlier. I hope I still have enough time to bring my III up to a II.

5) Had you instituted an ABC system you would have realized that while the Pumpkin Pie seemed inexpensive at Sal’s Bakery, the true cost of the pie includes machine time for the extra trip to Sal’s, the 0.25 labor hours of talking to Sal’s wife and the $5 she guilted you into putting into the jar for the Youth Soccer League. The true cost of the pie is really $365.

6) It was very distracting when Granny got up to use the bathroom twice during dinner. Her inability to control her bladder for 80 minutes (100 minutes during my discussion of Donna Dubinsky) was a constant distraction from the fulfilling environment of the meal.

7) It would have been a lot easier to formulate a more constructive dinner conversation if everyone had their namecards out and raised their hands before speaking.

8) I brought a scribe for a reason, and your insistence that she eat with us was inappropriate. Her ability to accurately monitor the conversation was severely limited, and I am now faced with the difficult task of trying to remember who said what.

9) After each dinner-course, it would have been nice if someone came by with a wet towel and wiped down my plate, like they do with the Aldrich chalkboards after each class. A little stuffing got on my pumpkin pie.

10) Nobody even noticed when I used the phrase that pays, “Building on Tom the Turkey’s earlier point regarding his fattening and slaughter…”

11) As the person who sat farthest away from the turkey, Uncle John should have been responsible for the Skydeck Awards before he passed out on the couch.

All in all it was a great meal. See you soon.

Love, Mike

December 3, 2001
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