#297: South Africa: Stella's office

Minister of Public Works Stella Sigcau wanted to remodel her
office, so she invited different contractors for tenders. One was
from Johannesburg, one from Durban and the last one from Soweto.

"OK, gentlemen, nice job I want," she said, "Let's hear from Jhb?"

The guy took out his ultrasonic measuring device and tablet computer
and began measuring, scrawling on the computer, calculating.

Eventually: "R90,000, Madam Minister," he said.

"That seems like quite a lot of money! Why R90,000?"

"You see," he replied, "that's R40,000 for material, R40,000 for
my guys and R10,000 for my profit".

Stella seemed OK with that and turned to the Durban contractor.
"So how much do want to do the job?" she asked.

The Durban fella took out a rusted tape measure, broken clipboard
and a blunt pencil. He took some measurements, scratched some
calculations on the back of his Rothmans 30s box and came up with
a figure of R70,000.

"That's interesting," said Stella, "explain the R70,000!"

"Simple, Madam Minister, I got a brother-in-law in the hardware
trade, so that's R30,000 for materials, R30,000 for me, and R10,000
for my profit and all."

Stella was amused but happy to accept the explanation.

Then she asked the Soweto contractor for his quotation.

He just smiled, looked the minister in the eyes and said, "R270,000!"

"Yoh Yoh Yoh!... How did you come to that amount without even taking
your measurements? What is that amount for?"

"That's R100,000 for me & R100,000 for you!" he replied.

"And what about the remaining R70,000?"

"We hire that guy from Durban to do the job!!!"

[ Lifted off the net ]

Without geometry, life is pointless.



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