I read a news report this morning that a former employer just had its eighth product recall in eighteen months. Thiry years ago, I was quality assurance manager there. I lasted a year. I was fired. (Just ask a recent General in the Army–it’s not good to criticize your boss.) I rejected a shipment of material for not meeting Federal specs. Then I discovered a defect in a product that had just gone into production (would have been good to get a couple of pilot models to test, but that’s another story). Then there was a letter missing from my file. Anyway, I’m sorry to see that so many years later, they still haven’t learned. Recalls are costly. How can they have eight and still find retailers to carry their products?

Robert Pirsig was propelled into a philosophical journey in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance because of a question, “Are you teaching Quality?” Are you pursuing quality in your position? In what you do and in what you produce? Are you going to cause a recall–or even worse an incident–because you didn’t pursue quality work?

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