It's been a year since my transition to a smaller company, and it's easier to feel burnt out on quality when you're not part of a larger team as I used to be. I was talking to an employee about how every small improvement we make pushes the next recall/disposal out another day, week, or year even if we can't see the effect directly, and I suddenly remembered the end of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and the conversation about fighting what can sometimes seem like a losing battle.
I took the conversation Harry and Dumbledore had and played mad libs with the nouns and ended up with something kind of awesome, and I figured I'd share it with a community that would probably appreciate it both for fun and for thought!
Harry lay there, lost for words. Dumbledore hummed a little and smiled at the ceiling. ‘Sir?’ said Harry. ‘I’ve been thinking ... Sir – even if the root cause is gone, reca– ... I mean, You-Know-What –’
‘Call it a recall, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.’
‘Yes, sir. Well, bacteria's going to try other ways of coming back, isn’t it? I mean, it hasn’t gone, has it?’
‘No, Harry, it has not. It is still out there somewhere, perhaps looking for another niche in your plant... being part of the world, it cannot be eliminated. Nevertheless, Harry, while your preventative actions may only have delayed your next recall, it will merely take someone else who is prepared to fight what seems a losing battle next time – and if it is delayed again, and again, why, you may never have another recall.’