A brain teaser and why you need to be careful about stories

Here is a classic problem that most of you would have heard from your childhood days

Three men go to a restaurant and have dinner. It costs them $30. They
pay the bill and continue talking. The manager realizes that he has
overcharged them on an item and asks the waiter to give back $5. The
waiter is not happy as they had not tipped him. So, he keeps $2 and
returns $1 to each person. Here is the problem: Each person actually
paid $9 ($27) and the waiter got $2 ($27+$2 =$29) so what happened to

Wait and think for a few moments before you read the solution



Solution: This is not
a mathematics problem. It is powerful story telling. Each person paid
$9 ($27) out of which $25 went to the restaurant and $2 went to the
waiter. That’s it. What the story teller did was to make you believe
that you need to add $2 to $27 and then the confusion started.

My point: This looks
like a joke. But there are hundreds of story tellers that are out there
telling powerful stories that have flawed logic and it’s easy to fall
into their trap. Next time you hear a powerful story, please look for
logic. Many times there is no logic but the story is powerful and will
make you believe the story and the ensuing assessment based on the