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  #21  
Old 30 January 2008, 01:51 PM
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DemonWolf DemonWolf is offline
 
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Originally Posted by diddy View Post
ETA. Somehow, I really doubt that Barry Bond's ability to hit balls gets hindered when somebody doesn't get their peanuts.
It would be a stretch, but one could argue that the creering of the crowd has an effect on games and that peanut vendor is helping to create an atmosphere where the crowd will be most active in the game. He is not only increasing crowd noise by virtue of his own yelling and the yelling of his customers, but he is eliminating the need for fans to leave their seats to get peanuts, increasing the size of the crowd at any given moment. Combine that with the beer, soda, hotdog, and pretzel vendors, that could be a sizable amount of people staying in their seats.
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  #22  
Old 30 January 2008, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post
It would be a stretch, but one could argue that the creering of the crowd has an effect on games and that peanut vendor is helping to create an atmosphere where the crowd will be most active in the game. He is not only increasing crowd noise by virtue of his own yelling and the yelling of his customers, but he is eliminating the need for fans to leave their seats to get peanuts, increasing the size of the crowd at any given moment. Combine that with the beer, soda, hotdog, and pretzel vendors, that could be a sizable amount of people staying in their seats.
I would argue that the Vendors arguing actually distracts the crowd (so that they know he is there for food. He doesn't cause the crowd to cheer more, he causes them to stop paying attention to the game, decide what to order, and get their wallet out.

It is a real big stretch.
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  #23  
Old 30 January 2008, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug4.7 View Post
Just as the guy who did the crappy wiring almost contributed to the loss of three astronauts in Apollo 13.
Maybe he did crappy wiring because he was too busy thinking about the Moon rather than the wiring. Just a thought.

I'm all for a team effort and the mission and all that but I'd have had at least as much, even more, respect for the janitor if he'd said, "I'm doing my job." And I would have bought him a beer if he'd added, "And what are you doing here? Besides getting hindering our effort to put a man on the Moon by making my floor dirty, that is."
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  #24  
Old 30 January 2008, 02:27 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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I found the quote about Christoper Wren I alluded to earlier:

Quote:
Perhaps you have heard the story of Christopher Wren, one of the greatest of English architects, who walked one day unrecognized among the men who were at work upon the building of St. Paul’s cathedral in London which he had designed. "What are you doing?" he inquired of one of the workmen, and the man replied, "I am cutting a piece of stone." As he went on he put the same question to another man, and the man replied, "I am earning five shillings twopence a day." And to a third man he addressed the same inquiry and the man answered, "I am helping Sir Christopher Wren build a beautiful cathedral." That man had vision. He could see beyond the cutting of the stone, beyond the earning of his daily wage, to the creation of a work of art—the building of a great cathedral. And in your life it is important for you to strive to attain a vision of the larger whole.
Attributed to Louise Bush-Brown.

No indication of the veracity of the story.

Nick
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  #25  
Old 30 January 2008, 03:49 PM
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Please tell me I'm not the only person that immediately thought of this movie when first seeing this thread.
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  #26  
Old 30 January 2008, 04:34 PM
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There is little to no proof that Barry Bonds was ever working to win a World Series with any team. He was most certainly trying to hit a ball with a little stick.

The idea of feeling a part of something bigger is not so bad. But taking care of the job in front of you, priceless.

Ali "or minimum wage in many cases" Infree
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  #27  
Old 30 January 2008, 05:27 PM
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The person selling peanuts contributes to the income of the concession company; the more peanuts/cotton candy/what have you is sold, the more that company will be willing to pay for the contract to sell in that stadium. The more money the team or stadium owner gets for these contracts, the more money they have to put into assembling a highly paid team. If more expensive players are more likely to be in a champoinship, then yes, that person selling peanuts is in fact helping a team reach the championship by increasing the money available for team payroll.
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  #28  
Old 31 January 2008, 04:39 AM
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As a member of the cleaning profession I can personally see why the janitor said that. We housekeeper (and janitors) are a crucial part in keeping an environment running smoothly. For me he sounds simply like a janitor who takes pride in his work, like I do.

About working feverishly when the president comes. It would depend on where he was working and what he was working on, if he was doing his best to still clean up that one dang spot on the floor before El Presidente shows up I can imagine he will be feverishly scrubbing on it. Also it doesnt mention where he met the janitor. It might have not been on a main hallway, but in a sidehall near a restroom. After all, even presidents poop now and then.

Rob "Sanitation Specialist in a Healthcare Environment" D.
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  #29  
Old 31 January 2008, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobDBlackwolf View Post
After all, even presidents poop now and then.
A great lead-in for that old quip about politicians and diapers...
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  #30  
Old 31 January 2008, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobDBlackwolf View Post
After all, even presidents poop now and then.
I think they clear the restrooms out before that happens...
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  #31  
Old 31 January 2008, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobDBlackwolf View Post
After all, even presidents poop now and then.
True. But, fortunately, I missed the State of the Union speech this year.
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  #32  
Old 01 February 2008, 08:15 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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In reference to the original post, particularly in a clean room environment, maintaining that cleanliness is a vital part of the overall mission. But is sounds apochraful (spelling?) and the Christopher Wren story sounds like the origin of it.
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  #33  
Old 08 February 2008, 05:12 PM
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Compared to the Christopher Wren story, though, the OP just doesn't do it for me.
First of all, as has been said, you don't "feverishly" sweep the floor. You can clean it real good, but the tone seems to imply that this janitor was putting in a greater effort because he was putting a man on the moon, and somehow getting the floors extra clean. Clean floors would be required no matter where this man worked. In the Christopher Wren story, the man who says he's "building a cathedral" isn't neccessarily working harder, just with a better sense of purpose.
Second, his clean floor may be important, but again in the Wren story we are talking to people laying bricks, the smallest pieces of the great cathedral. Their seemingly menial work adds up brick by brick into a beautiful cathedral, made up of all those seemingly inconsequential bricks.
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  #34  
Old 11 February 2008, 09:03 AM
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Mickey Blue Mickey Blue is offline
 
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One of my favorite posters mocking those inspirational posters offices always have shows a picture of a tiny little gear amongst many huge imposing ones, the caption read: "Just because you are essential, doesn't mean you are important".

Yes, janetorial staff is a necessary feature of most any business, be it Wal-Mart or NASA. But honestly, I don't personally see (barring massive stretches where arguably everybody in the US is partially responsible for NASA's successes) any realistic explanation for how a janitor at NASA has any real impact on the spacetravel part of their job.

Sure, to go back to the metaphore, Bond's may only be hitting a little ball, but his ability to do so plays a direct role in whether or not his team does well or not.

In other words, I don't think a janitor at NASA did anymore to help "put a man on the moon" then a janitor at a hospital being partially responsible for all the successful surgeries doctors perform there.

-MB
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  #35  
Old 12 February 2008, 04:35 AM
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Thats not what he said. He said " I have to get to the whore house by noon". Kennedy replied " Okay Ill drive".
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  #36  
Old 07 November 2009, 12:34 AM
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Glasses NASA janitor

Quote:
Mr Yeates accompanies this with the – possibly apocryphal – story of the cleaner at NASA who stood, broom in hand, at Cape Canaveral as a tour party asked what his job was. “I’m working to help put a man on the moon,” was the reply.
http://www.heraldscotland.com/life-s...ision-1.930153
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  #37  
Old 07 November 2009, 07:39 PM
Assilem Brandywine Assilem Brandywine is offline
 
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That apocryphal story is older than NASA. There's a story about the construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral about an old woman who would sweep up the bits of broken stone, glass and mortar that would build up during construction. When asked what she was doing she said "Building a cathedral to the glory of our Lord."
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  #38  
Old 08 November 2009, 04:10 PM
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The anecdote you've recalled, Assilem Brandywine, is reminiscent of that which Nick Theodorakis presented the last time we talked about this "NASA janitor" legend.

http://message.snopes.com/showpost.p...8&postcount=25

For what it's worth, Life correspondent Hugh Sidey was present at a White House meeting in the early 1960s at which President Kennedy pressed his science advisors for answers about how to get ahead of the Russians in the space race. Sidey's account isn't exactly the feel-good Cape Canavaral story snopes is after, but I like the comparison of the two*.

Quote:
"One by one the experts told their stories. It was a discouraging picture of years and billions of dollars that separated the United States and Russia in space. Kennedy frowned, ran his hands agonizingly through this hair. 'We may never catch up,' he muttered.

"'Now let's look at this,' said Kennedy impatiently. 'Is there any place where we can catch them? What can we do? Can we go around the moon before them? Can we put a man on the moon before them? What about Nova (a giant rocket) and Rover (a nuclear rocket)? When will Saturn be ready? Can we leapfrog?'"

Sidey says that it was not much of a discussion. "Kennedy turned back to the men around him. He thought for a second. Then he spoke. 'When we know more, I can decide if it's worth it or not. If somebody can just tell me how to catch up. Let's find somebody -- anybody. I don't care if it's the janitor over there, if he knows how.'"

[From Howard Simons's "Politics Powered Launch," The Washington Post, 13 July 1969, Pg. 105. Sidey presents much the same in his John F. Kennedy, President, 1963, pp. 122-123.]
Bonnie "That's probably how they came up with that Bay of Pigs thing too" Taylor

* Especially when the former is used to demonstrate how everyone felt he was pitching in. For example, as the Dean of Hopkins Carey School of Business recently noted,

Quote:
Chris Inglis, the deputy director of the National Security Agency, spoke at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School two weeks ago and told the story of a NASA janitor in the '60s who described his work as "helping to put a man on the moon." This janitor didn't see himself as just someone sweeping floors, but as someone who was involved in the vision laid out by President Kennedy.

http://views.washingtonpost.com/lead...-the-moon.html
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  #39  
Old 08 November 2009, 07:25 PM
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E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
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As far as the "peanut vendor" analogy goes, I would say that you have to look at the larger task. What's going on at the ballpark? A large crowd is being entertained, in such a fashion as to return profit to the owners/investors. The players on the field are the most conspicuous part of that mission -- particularly when the home team is winning -- but everyone else who works in the park, from the peanut vendors to the groundskeepers to the guys who sweep up and work the scoreboards and run up all the banners and pennants and such, is contributing to the over-all mission.
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  #40  
Old 08 November 2009, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
The players on the field are the most conspicuous part of that mission -- particularly when the home team is winning -- but everyone else who works in the park, from the peanut vendors to the groundskeepers to the guys who sweep up and work the scoreboards and run up all the banners and pennants and such, is contributing to the over-all mission.
Perhaps, but the analogy was to a peanut vendor who claims he's helping the team win a championship, not to a peanut vendor who (trivially) claims he's helping the team's ownership turn a profit.
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