Chief Bottle Washer

This is in reference to “The Chief Research Chemist of the Metaplast Corporation” from Part I of Richard Feynman's “Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!”.

The key part of the story is:

“How many chemists did you have working in the lab?” [asked Feynman.]

“We had six chemists working.”

“How many chemists do you think the Metaplast Corporation had?”

“Oh! They must have had a real chemistry department!”

“Would you describe for me what you think the chief research chemist at the Metaplast Corporation might look like, and how his laboratory might work?”

“I would guess they must have twenty-five or fifty chemists, and the chief research chemist has his own office—special, with glass. You know, like they have in the movies—guys coming in all the time with research projects that they're doing, getting his advice, and rushing off to do more research, people coming in and out all the time. With twenty-five or fifty chemists, how the hell could we compete with them?”

“You'll be interested and amused to know that you are now talking to the chief research of the Metaplast Corporation, whose staff consisted of one bottle-washer!”

Quoted from “Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!” pages 42-3. Copyright © 1985 by Richard P. Feynman and Ralph Leighton. Book published by Bantam Books, Inc. ISBN: 0-553-25649-1 (pbk)

Currently, I wear several hats at The Company, and since we're a startup, we're all working many many hours doing incredible things. Sometimes too many hours, but that's a rant for another foot note …