7 servings.

I was in the office, as you do, and shuffling around numbers. "Huh? What does '1 bucket of soup, broken and discarded'," even mean? Upon further investigation, it would mean that one of the service buckets, inside which soup is stored, was dropped by accident (everyone was OK; the service buckets are plastic), and the bucket broke, meaning that the soup and the bucket had to be thrown out.

Now we're getting somewhere. Right, but what do those cost? Boss Man shrugged. I silently cursed as I stalked off to the office to get to the bottom of this. I calculated the rough liquid capacity of the soup mug (12 oz~ish), and the rough size of the bucket (3 quarts?), and went about converting the one to the other and dividing across, and looking at the final score.

Then I cursed aloud, balled up the paper, and flung it across the room at the wall. 8 servings per bucket? That made no sense. So I started up again. Maybe the buckets are 2 quarts. Yeah, that's it, it's 2. Then I checked my math, and the cost of the soup. If that indeed was how much soup I'm getting for that soup recipe, we're not charging nearly enough. This makes no sense! I balled up a second sheet of paper, and stewed for a minute.

Wait a minute.

Excitedly, I ran out into the plating area, grabbed a soup mug, grabbed an empty service bucket (it needed washing out anyway), and filled it with water. Then, counting down, I started to empty the bucket, one mug at a time.


Sometimes, it takes an intelligent person a frustratingly long time to find the same answer that you could have figured out in 10 seconds. I cross-checked the math with the pricing, and the little lightbulbs went off in my head. Yes. Everything fit neatly, and easily. Also, now I had a quick way to assess whether or not I'll need more of a particular thing. If I've only got 1 1/2 buckets of soup left, I'd better get into the kitchen and whip up another one. If it's lunch rush and I've only got 1 1/2 buckets of soup left, then I'd better crank the stove, crank the oven, and /run/.

Why is this so exciting to me? Because now I /know/. A little thrill of triumph crossed my face as I completed the maths problem the easy way, made my notations, and moved to the next set of hurdles to jump, with its own set of numbers to rescue from the clutches of "I don't know."

All in a day's work.
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