# The Game of Looking Productive: Optimization by Nuclear Engineers

I found this on Slacker Manager today, and I had to share it. You should read the whole thing (link at the end), but here’s an excerpt:

Mike:
I agree. Now, why is it that we are considered above average performers, but we could do better? I see three possibilities:

1. We throw in enough good stuff, and seem eager enough to do a good job, that our slacking is not noticed.
2. We are way above average, and even our slacking is above average.
3. We aren’t slacking as much as we think we are.

What do you think?

Marc:
i think its a combination of the three. if i had to correlate constants, it would go something like this:

Reason = C1R1+C2R2+C3R3
where Ci= a constant with the property SUMi(Ci)=1

R1=”We throw in enough…”
R2=”We are way above…”
R3=”We aren’t slack….”

in my opinion,
C1=.7
C2=.1
C3=.2

Mike:
good thinking with equations. I think we are getting somewhere. more equations:
Vi equals the value of Ri to other people’s perception, and
Ei equals the relative effort of performing Ri, and
please note that I have changed Ci from a constant to a variable.
PERCEPTION = C1*R1*V1 + C2*R2*V2 + C3*R3*V3
EFFORT = E1*C1 + E2*C2 + E3*C3

I would say that we are good at maximizing PERCEPTION while minimizing EFFORT. The question is, why are we good at this, and why can’t others do it as well as we can? Do people not realize that this is a sort of game?