Press Release: Digital Joe assumes the post vacated by Follow Joe

Bridging the Gap between Matter and Symbol III

(On [or back] to The Philosophy of Quicktime, Bridging the Gap between Matter and Symbol I )

[On (or back) to Cognition, Recognition, and Recall , Bridging the Gap between Matter and Symbol II ]

City of Industry, USA. On the Job Training duties to be assumed by Digital Joe; Follow Joe resigns to pursue other interests


Digital Joe is here to replace Follow Joe, Consolidated General Industries announced today. Follow Joe retired to pursue "other interests".

After 10000 years on the payroll, Follow Joe picked up his last check.

Follow Joe was doing on the job training, or OJT as it is widely known. The foreman/supervisor always said to the new hires and to the soldiering incumbents "... you follow Joe for a while and pick up what you need to know from him, then pretty soon you'll be on your own."

10000 years, it seemed, was enough.

"Digital Joe is a solid performer," a CGI spokeswoman said yesterday.

"Digital Joe is reliable and regular as clockwork.

He gives the same performance every single time and he's infinitely patient.

If the job is playing golf, one of the tasks is how to hit a ball off the fairway with a fairway wood.

Bob Jones is your digital instructor. Acquiring a skill by repetitively viewing a movie of a person performing that skill, e.g. the Quicktime® digitized video , is now within the realm of our current capabilities and best practices. "

In a presentation following the announcement, it was demonstrated that Mr Jones demos as many times as desired; a few dozen ought to do to get anyone started.

Mr Jones annotates his demo with advice. His advice is keyed to the ergonomics of his swing. He has technical advice, poetic advice, very practical advice, and philosophic advice, to which FrogOJT ( CGI's partner and the creator of Digital Joe) added their own observation at the end.

The longer version of Bob Jones has some hints on how to use the FrogOJT Rapid Skill Acquisition technique.

The shorter versions are mostly to overcome the all too human shortcoming of not being able to see more than one point of view. At a time.

"We're not going to fault Follow Joe too much for his idiosyncrasies, or even his inconsistencies from day to day in his lessons," company officials said.

"Mostly what we fired him for was because he was overcharging. Back where I come from," said one high ranking official who spoke on the condition that he remain anonymous, "we would say old Follow Joe was charging you three prices. He was charging you for his time, when he couldn't get his own work done; he was charging for his trainee's time, when it took just forever to get the new guy ramped up to speed; and then on top of that he was charging you for the supervisor's time, for superintending the whole process. Outrageous. Follow Joe's boss was getting paid to sit around and tear his hair out, instead of getting his own work done. Guys like Tom Ferrell in Berkeley's Refuse Collection and Recycling Department, who came up with the text track for . And the irony of it all has always been that everybody thought that Follow Joe was working for free -- free training. Nobody ever wrote a check, must be free, right? Crafty old Follow Joe would only take his pay in productivity adjustments, so we couldn't expense it or amortize it. He was very much off the books."

Digital Joe is like any digital medium -- after the inital cost of production and the operating cost of distribution, the cost at the margin is zero. When he's chargin' at the margin, he's charging you nothing. "

Digital Joe bridges the gap between the installation + innnovation + ramping up charges during construction or modernization, and the operations and maintenance processes, for all of the systems and components. "

Like your plant. Your human expertise is not an undervalued asset. Not at all. Your human expertise is, in fact, an unvalued asset. It never appears on your balance sheet. It never shows up on a P&L statement. It never shows up at all; it's invisible to generally accepted accounting procedures. You don't know how much it cost you, you don't know how much it gets you, and you have no idea what your return on investment is for it. But you know that it must have cost you something, because in every case, you had to make some productivity adjustment to acquire it. "

When asked to comment on all of this, Follow Joe said, "I have nothing to say at this time."

After he was informed that he was no longer on the payroll, and had been handed his last check and told to go punch out, he did have the following to say while being escorted by CGI Security Guards: "I never had much to say at that plant, except a lot of 'Got that?'s' and 'Okay?'s' and 'You got any questions, just speak up.' 'Course, I just intimidated the hell outta all them young punks they'd ask me to train up. I paid my dues, you think I'm gonna tell'em all my secrets, just let'em have'm just like that? Hell, it takes time to learn all that I know. I've forgot more than any of these kids'll ever learn. And you know what? You know what else? I never showed nobody nothin' but oncet, or maybe twice. Man don't get it after one or two shots, the hell with'em. He'll never get it. Just not cut out for that kinda work, is what it is. Let'em figure it out on their own's what I always say. That's why we call it on the job training. You do it on the job, see? OJT. Keep the line runnin'. Haven't got time for a lot of school on the line, see? I just ... ah, hell, I'm gonna git outta here, I got a golf tee time at two o'clock and that'll barely give me enough time to get over to the driving range and hit a bucket'a balls before I gotta meet the other guys. Didja see this gizmo I got last week? The company gimme this, 'steaduva watch, I guess. I thought it was a joke. No joke, I guess. A laptop computer. They give me a laptop computer, and then they give me a pink slip. So my grandson, he shows me on the laptop they got a movie of Bobby Jones, way back in the Thirties. I remember Bobby Jones, he was pretty good. For an amatoor. This little movie here, I been watchin' it every night for about, oh, fifteen or so minutes, just over and over again, tryin' to get it right in my head. That's a lotta damned advice that kid had, 'course he's no kid now, 'factathematter is he's dead, but you know what I mean. How to move your left leg, your right leg, your ass, move your ass first he says. 'Course he doesn't say it just like that, he says "Move your hips first" but hey, I know what he's talkin' about, you got to put your ass in it. That's where the power comes from. Like they're always talkin' about in those infomercials, "shift yer weight." That's just polite for it, they mean put your ass into it. So I watch this computer movie for a while, then I got to thinkin', why not just haul this little sumbitch out to the range and watch Jones right there where he is? Works good. Then last week -- now don't you go and tell anybody this -- I put him in the cart and I'd sneak a peek at him just before I hit off the fairway. That's illegal, see, not in the Rules of Golf. Yer not supposed to get any advice, 'cept from your partner in a team competitition. That's rule 8 point 1. That'd be somethin', tellin'em Bobby Jones was my partner. Mebbe I'd win fer a change. Then there's 14 point 3. Artificial Devices. A Player can't have any "artificial device or unusual equipment which might assist him in making a stroke or in his play" is how it's in the Rules. So I gotta sneak ol' Bobby Jones onto the course, take a peek once in a while. Man, that really lights a fire under the ball, I wanna tell ya. Two hundert twenty yards, stead'a my usual hundert'n fifty. No kiddin'! They oughta get somethin' like that here at the plant, some kinda "artificial device" to show these kids how to do these kinda jobs here. I mean, how the hell is a man supposed to get any good at any of this stuff, if he doesn't have time to learn or anybody to show'em? How the hell was I supposed to do all that, and do my own job too? And you know how they have the Rules? The Rules of Golf? That's documentation, see? That's the damn last word. Now I ask ya, why in the goddamn hell don't this company have a book like that for these jobs here? It's a helluva lot more important than some damn golf game. 'Course, when you get to the pros, that's some serious money there, but hell, this company's dealin' with some serious money too. Aaaaah, fuck'em. Fuck this company. Fuck'em all 'cept six, and save them for pallbearers. and if you got the time fuck them too. They want me to be a teacher, they're gonna have to pay me a damn sight more money than they're payin' me now. Damn sight more. I'm just here to do my job. Well, you take care, I gotta go. Me and Bobby Jones. Gonna rip the cover off that dimpled little white plastic sumbitch. Two hunnert twenty yeards. No kiddin'."


And with that, old Follow Joe was gone. Spent his retirement years out on the golf course, playing excellent rounds, accompanied clandestinely by his replacement.

Richard Katz 1999

Back to FrogOJT page., with links to some Quicktime movies.

On (or back) to The Philosophy of Quicktime, Bridging the Gap between Matter and Symbol I

[On (or back) to Cognition, Recognition, and Recall , Bridging the Gap between Matter and Symbol II ]