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Funny Management Word Problems

August 21, 2000
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Related Topics: The HR Profession, Featured Article
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In school, they teach you math by taking you through common dilemmas often called word problems. Perhaps they should do the same when you go for your MBA.

Some examples:

  1. Thirty-five employees take diversity training once a week for one month. Assuming 11 employees refuse to attend, 19 fall asleep during at least two of the sessions, and three forget everything they learned, what is your ROI?
  2. On the first casual Friday, Rachel leaves 40 inches of skin on her body exposed. Each week, she decides to expose an extra five inches in addition to the 40. (On the Fridays before holidays, however, she exposes an extra seven). How long before she's coming to work naked?
  3. A real-live human being is available to speak with you at your HMO if you call within a 47-second period each day. When this period occurs depends on the number of other callers during that day. Assuming your city's population is 1.5 million, and 1/3 are covered under a managed care plan, and 16% of those covered are covered by the same plan as yours, what are the odds you won't get voice mail?
  4. Jeanne works 13 hours per day for eight weeks straight. Assuming your EAP charges you at a rate of $.50 per phone call, what will your added costs be after the two months are up?
  5. According to your recent audit, employees spend 11% of their time researching sports online; 4% researching stocks; 28% e-mailing friends; 2% downloading pornography; and 58% of their time at Ebay®. How many Gigabytes will your computer network need to be in order to house company data?
  6. You are considering instituting a zero-tolerance policy on drugs. At the same time, you have 50 new applicants originating from Woodstock '99. How many can you expect to pass the background check?
  7. Josh is working as independent contractor, selling your company's training CDs in Cincinnati, which is located in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Given this information, how many federal and state laws are you likely to break? Please choose one:
  1. Less than 350
  2. 350-500
  3. 500-3 million
  4. Impossible to calculate
  1. The liquid Dial® soap in the kitchen turns toxic at a rate of .0001 milliliters per decade. How many weeks will it be before you can expect to receive an OSHA fine?
  2. You are told at a secret meeting that your company is going to be acquiring a large telecommunications outfit (you are in charge of workforce integration). Assuming you purchase the telecom stock in two weeks at $25.50 per share, and you expect a PE ratio of 26 in the year 2004, how much time can you expect to do for insider trading?

Feel free to post your own word problems.

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