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E Column logoSome years ago, I came across a one-page document entitled, “If 99% Were Good Enough….”

It made a big impression on me. 99% seems to be a reasonable goal to strive for, though when you read the list, you realize how much damage can be done when people are working at 99%. The original list is at least 20 years old and so many of the examples are no longer as relevant. However, I found another list on Linkedin from 2015/2016 that had some terrific examples of the chaos that could occur when people are happy with 99% competency.

2015/2016

  • Four planes landing at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago would be unsafe every day.
  • One million tax documents would be lost.
  • There would be a major plane crash every 2 days.
  • There would be 47,000 ATM errors every hour.
  • 880,000 credit cards in circulation would turn out to have incorrect card holder information on their magnetic strips.
  • 285 malfunctioning automatic teller machines would be installed in the next 12 months.
  • 15,517,200 cases of soft drinks produced in the next 12 months would be FLAT.
  • 415 entries in Webster’s New International English Dictionary would be misspelled.
  • 591 pacemaker operations would be performed incorrectly this year.
  • 3,468,500 defective tires would be shipped this year.
  • 262,000 incorrect drug prescriptions would be written in the next 12 months.
  • 3,488,200 books would be shipped in the next 12 months with the wrong cover.
  • 38,322 pieces of mail would be mishandled in the next hour.
  • 42 babies will be given to the wrong parents each day.
  • 307 incorrect medical procedures would be performed by the end of the day today.
  • 303,260 income tax returns would be processed incorrectly this year.
  • 4,314 phone calls would be misplaced by telecommunication services every minute.
  • $5,761,900 would be spent in the next 12 months on DVD’s and CDs that won’t play.
  • Your bank cards would be compromised 30 times more yearly than they already are.
  • 18,322 pieces of mail mishandled in the next hour (the US Postal Service Rating is only 73).
  • 20,00 incorrect drug prescriptions will be written in the next 12 months.
  • 22,000 checks deducted from the wrong bank account every 60 minutes.
  • 2 new-born babies dropped by doctors each day!

It is easy to let our minds wander when we are in the middle of a tasks or interactions at home or at work.

We are human; mistakes happen, it’s unavoidable. However, if we make a concerted effort to stay focused on our tasks or interactions, there will be a lot fewer small and big mistakes.

A tip of the glass from me to you.

Elizabeth SlaterE Column
by Elizabeth “E” Slater, In Short Direct Marketing

A recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and sales in the wine marketplace. Slater has taught more wineries and winery associations how to create and improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing programs and to make the most of each customer’s potential than anyone in the wine industry today.

Follow E on twitter @esavant and facebook.

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