So a really, really, really good friend of mine (really good) has authorized my telling this story, but won't let me put her name on it, because she says I tell it wrong.

Still, it's a great story.

"You never let the facts get in the way of a good story," she says. She thinks I live a life of factual hallucination.

Fair enough. Enough disclaimer.

Now The Story.
My friend worked for General Motors during the 1980s. She was an industrial engineer.

GM purchased a part from a Japanese manufacturer. GM specified a defect rate of 3%. "Don't give us more than 3% defective parts," GM demanded.

When the parts came, three of every 100 parts were isolated. They were on top, in the same corner of each 100 parts. They were wrapped in red.

"Why are those parts wrapped in red?" GM asked the supplier.

"Oh, those are the defective parts that you requested," explained the Japanese manufacturer. "We made those defective for you. You insisted on a 3% defect rate."

They thought that the GM customer wanted defective parts for some purpose.

As part of quality control on a Japanese assembly line — says my Really Really Good Friend, who spent a summer in Japan working at Nissan — defective parts are sometimes introduced to make sure that the process finds and rejects them farther down the line.

So What Facts Are Not Accurate Here?
"The defective parts were not wrapped in red," disputes my Really Really Good Friend. That's the one fact that my Friend disputes. What a stickler!

But I think it's helpful. And it's my blog.

It's The American Way
Net Cotton Content promises a factual defect rate of 3%.

No more. No less.