“I will always look for a lazy person – he will find an easy way to solve the problem”: the network shares real examples of phrases

Based on a quote attributed to Bill Gates, Reddit users talk about how they automated their work or found another way to make their life easier.

Bill Gates is credited with the phrase: “I will always look for a lazy person to work, because he will find many easy ways to solve this problem.” The quote can often be found on social networks, although there are doubts that the co-founder of Microsoft has ever said it: such an idea appeared on the pages of Popular Science in the 1920s, and Gates’s authorship could not be confirmed.

Despite questions about the reliability of the quote, many take it into service. Indeed, sometimes you can try a little, then to greatly simplify your life. This is especially often said in connection with the IT industry and automation. Even on Bash.org, a legend appeared about an engineer who automated in general everything that he could reach.

xxx: We got YYY (engineer build) here. People basically lived only in the console and vim, drew diagrams with scripts in dot, wrote docks in wiki by marquedown, if something took more than 1.5 minutes, wrote a script. We sit, parse his legacy. xxx: From the beautiful: xxx: smack-my-bitch-up.sh – sends, apparently, to his wife “I was late at work” and generates excuses from the list. Delivered in cron, shoots after 9 pm if interactive sessions on ssh with its login are hanging on the workstation. xxx: kumar-mudak.sh – scans mail, looks for letters from Kumar (foreign DBA with a speaking last name) with keywords (sorry, help, etc.) rolls the mentioned base of staging to the last backup and unsubscribes, kind of not a question, be be careful next time. Zelo hesitated his Kumar vestimo. xxx: badun.sh – set to cron on certain dates, sends letters “I feel bad, I’ll work from home”, again if by 8-45 in the morning there were no interactive sessions on the workstation. xxx: And finally, the first prize: coffe-blyat.sh – waits 17 seconds (!!!), logs in via ssh to the coffee machine (we had no idea that it was in the grid and what else sshd was raised on it) and sends some abracadabra there. It was found experimentally that THIS starts the process of brewing a medium-sized half-caf chai latte, which begins to pour into a cup just in time when a leisurely walking person gets from his office to the machine.

At the end of June, at the r / AskReddit subreddit, where users answer each other’s questions, they created a topic: “Bill Gates said he would always prefer a lazy person to work, because he will find many easy ways to solve this problem. Does this phrase have real life examples? ”


Bill Gates said, “I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” What’s a real-life example of this? from r/AskReddit

The thread has collected several thousand comments with stories. And most, of course, concerned the automation of work using scripts.

I knew a guy who worked with low-level data / reports. He had several daily / weekly work responsibilities, including a bunch of reports that required turning raw data into a finished product. But, as I said, this is a low level. We only learned about this later, but he set up macros for all the basic duties he could. Once you set them up, he simply ran macros to do the work, and then (in a smart way) he lingered with reports and handed them over right before the deadline. He performed all tasks and was considered a reliable employee. He even complained about processing so that he would not be loaded with something else. I doubt that he worked at least an hour a day.

My ex-boss somehow gave me an Exel table with 124 thousand rows. There was all the data about the company employees – twice. Some of the duplicates had errors. She wanted me to check the entire list and note all the errors that she could find. She suggested that I would do this with the mouse and the down arrow. I thanked her, sat down. Spent half an hour on Google. I copied part of the formula, then took parts from another formula. Then he finally figured it out. I clicked twice – and the verification was completed. I got up, drank coffee, talked with colleagues. Then he went to the boss. She expected me to need three days for this. And when I arrived less than an hour later, she decided that I must not have understood the task. I will not forget the expression on her face when she found out that everything was done. There were six lines with errors.

I remember I worked in a small IT department while studying at college, and our main system administrator automated EVERYTHING. He spent all day watching games and watching YouTube, but still fulfilled all his duties in a timely manner. Once we played Civilization V, watching a script that upgraded all the computers in the office from Windows XP to Windows 7. All the work was done on time and without errors, so we really did not think that we were doing something wrong.

At the old work there was a man whose work was reduced to “data entry”. He copied the data from a text document and pasted it into a spreadsheet, so that later he could draw up a report. The person who initially took up this work spent 40 hours a week on this, but was not very good at computers. When he retired, an employee was taken more skilfully in his place. The newcomer convinced his superiors to let him work remotely, and the speed of data entry increased dramatically. The first week of the house was spent on automation. The rest of his many years in the company was spent on anything except 20 minutes of work per week (to run the program and answer a couple of letters). From time to time, I had to add errors to make everything look realistic.

I worked at a warehouse in an aircraft manufacturing company during a summer internship. We received spare parts, and we opened them and introduced all the details into the terminal. It was a long process. And then I found that you can configure keyboard shortcuts on the terminal keyboard, and I installed many standard template procedures on them. As a result, I needed to press six keys for all the work. I saved for my colleagues many hours of work that we spent on drawing each other and warehouse employees.

My programming mentor said: he was once hired for a position in the US government, and he was interviewed. There he mentioned that he could automate many tasks. After the interview, he was personally contacted by one of the people who were in the interview, and he literally said: “Listen, we are paid so much and so much for a year, and we need to work for so many and so many hours. If you want to automate processes, do it, but don’t tell anyone about it. ”

Someone shared “failure stories.”

I know a guy who also did all the work with macros, but then he told the authorities about everything. The company shared macros with all employees: it made the life of colleagues much easier, but they threw off additional work. The company made a lot of money, but that guy didn’t get anything. He was not even promoted.

I am an IT guy who screwed up. I worked in commercial delivery, and when I came to a new job, on the very first day I saw how many inefficient systems there were, some of which were not needed at all. As a good employee, I compiled a report and handed it to the boss, who praised me and said: “Take care of this.” I started, and a month later our team was reduced from 40 to 25 people, because I saved a lot of time with the new system. Sorry, colleagues.

There were examples from other areas of life.

My brother gave his son (my nephew) $ 10 if he performed all household duties without the need to remind or curse him. Once he returned home earlier and saw the following picture: a neighbor boy throws out our garbage. The brother asked what he was doing, and he said that his nephew promised him $ 5 for help with part of the affairs. My nephew outsourced household duties.

As a child, I also tried to do this – and got it on the head. The story was with me and my father. We both hated washing dishes, so she was piling up in the sink. It came to the point that he offered me $ 20 for washing her. Before it came to this, we went to my aunt. As a result, I offered my brother $ 10 for visiting and washing the dishes. He agreed. I was no longer allowed to crank it up.

Many years ago, as a student, I worked in a supermarket — filling shelves with goods. The guys carried heavy boxes, put them on the floor and bent over each time to take something and put it on the shelf. I was a 45 kg girl, and I couldn’t just carry boxes physically. One day an idea occurred to me. I put the box on the old office chair and rolled it. No longer had to carry and bend! The funny thing is that instead of doing the same thing, many guys called me lazy and continued to carry boxes – just to prove their strength. Now there are special trolleys for this.

Once, a friend invited me to my family for the annual apple picking: they did this all day, invited the children and filled the truck in order to make cider later. And I, a bummer, suggested that we make the process more efficient with tarpaulin on the ground (to shake apples from trees on it). In two hours, we dealt with what historically occupied the whole day. We didn’t even get to the traditional picnic lunch. In fact, I ruined everyone’s apple picking day.

When I was in school in a small town, many children had to go to school / home through the park. Part of the path passed through the forest, because it was faster than along the path. At some point, you had to climb a small but tiring hill. Nothing special, but it took 10 intense seconds to climb it. It was impossible to get around: one side – a cliff near a small stream, the second – thick trees. One summer, we decided to level the hill with the ground. There were 14 of us, and it took three days to complete the task. It was difficult, but worth it. We saved 10 seconds from a walk every morning and evening, 150 days a year. And not only for us – for everyone in the district.


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