How long can you skim off the top before someone notices

Mini Cream Puffs I bought at Sams Club

So the other day, I bought this really huge container of mini cream puffs at SAM’s Club. The first thing I did when I got home is cracked open the lid and popped a few in my mouth.


I’m pretty certain they are fat-free and calorie-free as well, though I am scared to look at the label on the side.

And I’m a bit ashamed to say this, but I keep lifting back the lid a couple times a day and taking a few cream puffs. They are small, there is a lot there and nobody will really notice how many I’ve eaten. But then it occurs to me that at some point, the level of cream puffs will have fallen below an explainable level. “Contents may settle during shipping” will no longer be a viable explanation. I will eventually have to own up to the fact that I have indeed ingested more than three or four dozen mini cream puffs. It will be my walk of shame.

That got me thinking about how this is a metaphor for what passes as responsible management. Companies are trimming talent off the top in order to save some money. “Customers will never notice,” they console themselves. Products are trimming back some quality material in favor of cheaper plastic. Airlines are chopping off services. Oil rigs are foregoing safety valves. Banks are trimming services. Insurance companies cutting covered care. And on and on and on…. Look how much money we saved, look how much more productive we are.

Just an observation.

Do you think now that I used the cream puffs for a blog post that I can write them off as a business deduction? Even if the argument with the IRS agent entertains only me, I think it worth a gamble! 🙂