The Glass Story…

The Glass Half Full or Half Empty.

While delivering a talk to my MBA students I sometimes try to use motivational stories/quotes to drive home some point in my talk. 

A very popular story is about a glass-is it half full or half empty ? Even if you have heard of it earlier,perhaps you may not have heard about the amount of research that has been done on the topic ! 

Here is a long list of perceptions which shows how people can see the same thing in different ways.Get ready ! 

1.The optimist says the glass is half full. 

2.The pessimist says the glass is half empty. 

3.The project manager says the glass is twice as big as it  needs to be. 

4.The realist says the glass contains half the required  amount of liquid for it to overflow. 

5. The cynic… wonders who drank the other half….. 

6.The school teacher says it’s not about whether the glass  is half empty or half full, it’s whether there is something in  the glass at all. 

7. Attitude is not about whether the glass is half full or half   empty, it’s about who is paying for the next round. 

8.The professional trainer does not care if the glass is half   full or half empty, he just knows that starting the  discussion will give him ten minutes to figure out why his  powerpoint presentation is not working. 

9.The ground-down mother of a persistently demanding  five-year-old kid says sweetheart it’s whatever you want it  to be, just please let mummy have five minutes peace  and quiet. 

10.The consultant says let’s examine the question, prepare  a strategy for an answer, and all for a daily rate of… 

11.The inquisitive troublemaker wants to know what’s in the  glass anyhow… and wants the rest of it. 

12.The homebuilder sees the dirty glass, washes and dries it, then puts it away in a custom oak and etched glass cabinet that he built himself using only hand tools. 

13.The worrier frets that the remaining half will evaporate by the next morning. 

14.The fanatic thinks the glass is completely full, even   though it isn’t. 

15.The entrepreneur sees the glass as undervalued by half its potential. 

16.The computer specialist says that next year the glass  capacity will double, be half the price, but cost you 50%  more for me to give you the answer. 

17.The first engineer says the glass is over-designed for the quantity of water.

 18.The second engineer says (when the half is tainted) he’s  glad he put the other half in a redundant glass. (Based  on a Dilbert cartoon by Scott Adams) 

19.The computer programmer says the glass is full-empty. 

20.The Buddhist says don’t worry, remember the glass is already broken. 

21.The logician says that where the glass is in process of  being filled then it is half full; where it is in the process of being emptied then it is half empty; and where its  status in terms of being filled or emptied is unknown  then the glass is one in which a boundary between liquid and gas lies exactly midway between the inside bottom and the upper rim, assuming that the glass has parallel sides and rests on a level surface, and where it does not then the liquid/gas boundary lies exactly  midway between the upper and lower equal halves of the available total volume of said glass. 

22.The scientist says a guess based on a visual cue is inaccurate, so mark the glass at the bottom of the  meniscus of the content, pour the content into a bigger  glass; fill the empty glass with fresh content up to the  mark; add the original content back in; if the combined  content overflows the lip, the glass was more than half full; if it doesn’t reach the top, the glass was more than  half empty; if it neither overflows nor fails to reach the  top then it was either half-full or half-empty. Now what  was the question again? 

23.The Dutchman would suggest to both pay for the glass and share the content.Then tells you he will have the bottom half. 

24.The personal coach knows that the glass goes from full to empty depending on the circumstances, and reminds  the drinker that he can always fill the glass when he  wishes. 

25.The grammarian says that while the terms half-full and    half-empty are colloquially acceptable the glass can technically be neither since both full and empty are  absolute states and therefore are incapable of being  halved or modified in any way. 

26.The auditor first checks whether the empty half is  material and then designs the audit procedures to obtain sufficient evidence to conclude that the glass is indeed empty. 

27.The waiter will hurry to replace the glass with a full one. For him there are no doubts: the glass was empty when  he took it away; it is full in the bill that he brings you. 

28.The magician will show you the glass with the full half at the top. 

29.The physician says that the glass is not empty at all – it is half-filled with water and half-filled with air – hence, fully filled on the whole! 

30.The musician says he/she is unimpressed with the  promoter of the concert for not providing more alcohol. 

31.The ineffective organization would discuss the question  during the board of directors meeting, convene a  committee to research the problem, and assign tasks for  a root cause analysis, usually without a complete  explanation of the problem to those assigned the tasks. 

32.The directors would consider the problem to be above  the pay grade of those assigned root cause analysis  tasks. 

33.And more strangely:The dog just wonders: can he eat  the glass or will you throw it so he can bring it back… 

34.The cat wonders why the glass is only half full (or empty)… is it a trick… poison perhaps… 

35.The eternally optimistic eccentric would say, the glass is  consistently overflowing (or is that the neurotic?…) 

36.The person who is no longer trapped in The Matrix  (whatever one might call him/her) says: “There is no  glass…” 

37.More generationally:The adolescent student says the  glass is just another dirty trick played by the teacher to  prove that students are dumb. 

38.More scientifically:The research scientist says that  following initial observation and testing a working  hypothesis for further research is: “The glass is both  half full and half empty,” and that these findings warrant  further investigation with a more representative sample  of  glasses and contents, which may or may not be  liquid. 

39.The algebraic simultaneous equation theorist says that if the glass is equally half full and half empty, then   half full = half empty; therefore ½ x F = ½ x E;  therefore (by multiplying both sides of the equation by 2) we show that F = E; i.e. Full equals Empty ! 

40.The efficiency analyst says the glass is operating  substantially below optimization level, being consistently  exactly 50% under-utilized during the period of  assessment, corresponding to an over-resourcing in meeting demand equating to precisely 200% of requisite  capacity in volume terms, not accounting for seasonal  trends and shrinkage, and that if the situation continues there is in theory opportunity for savings or expansion.

While the collective creative genius of various respondents is greatly appreciated, I welcome further additions.

You will ask me what is my take on this ?

Well,I feel the glass may contain a sample of urine to be sent to the lab for testing !  

I asked a Hare Krishna devotee what he thought of it.He said smilingly that it was Meera Bai’s glass of poison which Ranaji had sent her … 

See, possibilities are immense ! 

Come prove your genius with a witty reply or an idiotic reply even better than the quotes of 3 Idiots of Aamir Khan’s recent hit movie ! No awards or rewards please ! 

Join the fun.Keep smiling.


This entry was posted in Comments to print media, Humour, Ideas, People, Social Commentry. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Glass Story…

  1. A friend of mine told me to check out your blog. This is precisely the kind of information I was looking for. I wish I have come across your blog sooner.

  2. kumarendra mallick says:

    Jatinderji, by the time a reader completes your interesting analysis either the glass will be empty or you will be called to attend an important meeting of the optimists and the pessimists. Thank you for your enlightening essay.

    Kumarendra Mallick, Hyderabad
    Jul 23, 2010

  3. ramesh anand says:

    Dear Broca, Glass is half filled with Wine for me with the other half already sipped by my wife.

    Ramesh Anand, Malaysia
    Jul 23, 2010

  4. dr pooja g bhuyar says:

    I read all the possibilities. This is quite educating, learning the theme in different roles. Regards.

    Dr Pooja G Bhuyar, Bijapur
    Jul 24, 2010

  5. j s broca says:

    Dear Mallickji and Ramesh ji, thanks for your responses. Here is the comment from my Banker friend now : Hey ! I am not worried about the glass filled or empty.I have financed your Glass Manufacturing Factory. You better keep your loan accounts in order !

    j s broca, new delhi
    Jul 24, 2010

  6. raja ramachandran says:

    Brocaji, I appreciate your sense of humour and for your abundant patience to compile 40 items under one subject “Half empty and half filled glass.” Please be giving us more and more jokes like this and keep us laughing forever. “Laughter is the best medicine.”

    Rajaram Ramachandran, Juhu, Mumbai
    Jul 24, 2010

  7. t s chandra mouli says:

    Jitoo ji, as long the glass is there, no problem.We will fill it with what we like/want to the extent we can manage. From one glass to another, Cheers. Remember Neeta’s Natter in ‘Star Dust’? Yeah!

    TSChandraMouli, Hyderabad
    Jul 24, 2010

  8. ZX-14 lady says:

    My friend and I were arguing about this! Now I know that I was right. lol! Thanks for making me positive!

  9. Hi there, I just needed to state how interesting I find this blog!

  10. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative.I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  11. nilouffer says:

    Your students are lucky to have you teach them; You get them involved in the subject and participate which makes interesting learning. This article just shows how different minds think and assess a simple thing like half empty or half full glass; and some seem to have ignored the real contents of that glass while some have given interesting subjects to the liquid.
    Very interesting and with a humourous twist.;

  12. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely helpful information particularly the last part :). Thank you and best of luck.

Leave a Reply