This occurred while I was working as a quality control inspector at a steel coating plant near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was sitting at my desk filling out paperwork–paperwork that I’m sure was vital to the daily functioning of the plant, and not be interrupted–when the crane operator, Jim, burst into the office.
“We have a problem,” he barked.
Jim tended to have problems more days than not. Urgent problems. Urgent problems of all varieties. (I could tell it was urgent because Jim was using his urgent voice. His urgent voice was similar to his whiny voice, but an octave higher.)
I looked around the office to discover I was the only one there. Crap.
“Houston,” I said to him.
“When you burst into a room to exclaim that you have a problem, you’re supposed to say, ‘Houston, we have a problem.'”
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