Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shock Your Waitress

Shock collars, widely used for training bird dogs, have now found widespread use in the Republic of Estonia. In a new program supported by EU structural funds, half of Estonian waitresses will be outfitted with shock collars. "The other half," says scientist David Roskolnikov, "are control."
Long known as the Capital of Poor Service, where waitresses are slow to think and slower to move, Estonian government has embraced the program and believe it will result in greater long-term tourism revenue. Scientist Roskolnikov and his partners will be analyzing the revenue generated by collar-wearers and non-collar-wearers, hoping the data shows that waitresses working in a state of fear produce significantly more revenue. Roskolnikov, a doctoral student at the University of Moscow, says he tried the project in Latvia but it failed. "The girls immediately chewed through the collars and escaped." Roskolnikov's other worry is criticism from the scientific community about his methodology. He has tried to lay down clear rules for delivery shocks, "but my peers say you can never really control that. It's the 'who will guard the guards' dilemma." The scientist believes he has circumvented the problem by placing a shock switch on every table in each restaurant so that the customers may deliver the shocks themselves. "After all," he notes, "the customer is always right, right?"

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