April 19th, 2018, 05:42 PM  #1 
Newbie Joined: Apr 2018 From: Canada Posts: 2 Thanks: 0  Employee time word problem (urgent, please help soon)
Hi, I am having trouble with this question and am wondering whether anyone can show me what equation I should use. I know how to solve algebra decently well; it's just I am confused how to find what equation to originally use. Three employees work at Starbucks. Ryan can fill an order two minutes faster than Uzair, but Hassan fills an order one minute slower than Uzair. When Uzair and Ryan work together, they can fill an order in one minute and twenty seconds. When Ryan and Hassan work together, they take one minute and thirty seconds to fill an order. How long would it take all three of them working together to fill an order? Normally you would use something along the line of: R = U2 H = U+1 R+U = 4/3 R+H = 3/2 R+H+U = ? but R+H+U needs to be *less*, not more, so I don't know what to do. Last edited by skipjack; April 20th, 2018 at 12:27 AM. 
April 19th, 2018, 06:28 PM  #2 
Math Team Joined: Jul 2011 From: Texas Posts: 2,977 Thanks: 1571 
rate = (1 order)/(time in minutes) $U = \dfrac{1}{t}$ $R = \dfrac{1}{t2}$ $H = \dfrac{1}{t+1}$ ... where $t$ is time in minutes (combined rates)(time in minutes) = 1 order filled $(U + R) \cdot \dfrac{4}{3} = 1$ order filled $(R + H) \cdot \dfrac{3}{2} = 1$ order filled I worked this out using the first equation ... determined U fills an order in 4 minutes, R fills one in 2 minutes, and H fills one in 5 minutes the second equation doesn't work out to be a time of 1.5 minutes ... it's close, but actually 1 and 3/7 minutes (approx 1 min 25.7 sec) 
April 20th, 2018, 11:56 AM  #3 
Math Team Joined: Oct 2011 From: Ottawa Ontario, Canada Posts: 14,597 Thanks: 1038 
That kinda problem is usually hard to "grasp" at first; was for me anyway... Rewording your problem slightly: Three employees, Art, Ben and Cam, work at Tim Horton's: OK?! Art can fill an order two minutes faster than Ben. Cam fills an order one minute slower than Ben. When Art and Ben work together, they fill an order in one minute and twenty seconds. When Art and Cam work together, they take one minute and thirty seconds. How long would it take all three of them working together to fill an order? Let "filling an order" be "travelling 1 mile" (same thing). Keep ALL times in seconds. Let speeds be (mps = miles per second): Art @ a mps, Ben @ b mps, Cam @ c mps Art(@ a)................1.................>1/a sec. Ben(@ b)...............1.................>1/b = 1/a + 120 sec. Cam(@ c)...............1................>1/c = 1/a + 180 sec. Given: (@ a+b).................1.................> 1/(a+b) = 80 sec. (@ a+c).................1.................> 1/(a+c) = 90 sec. Solve: (@ a+b+c)..............1................> ? sec If that confuses you more, throw it in the waste paper basket!! 
April 22nd, 2018, 12:01 AM  #4  
Math Team Joined: Jan 2015 From: Alabama Posts: 3,264 Thanks: 902  Quote:
" Ryan can fill an order two minutes faster than Uzair": U= R+ 2. "but Hassan fills an order one minute slower than Uzair." H= U+ 1. "When Uzair and Ryan work together, they can fill an order in one minute and twenty seconds." When two people work together (or two pipes fill a tank, etc.) their rates add. If Uzair can fil an order in U minutes, the he works at rate 1/U "orders per minute". If Ryan can fill an order in R minutes then he works at rate 1/R orders per minute. Their rate when they work together is 1/U+ 1/R= (R+ U)/RU. The time it takes to fill one order at that rate is $\displaystyle \frac{1}{\frac{R+U}{RU}}= \frac{RU}{R+ U}= 1+ 28/60= 1+ 7/15= \frac{22}{15}$ minutes. Replace U with R+ 2, from the first condition to get an equation in R only: $\displaystyle \frac{R(R+ 2)}{R+ R+ 2}= \frac{R^2+ 2R}{2R+ 2}a= \frac{22}{15}$]. $\displaystyle 15(R^2+ 2R)= 22(2R+ 2)$. Solve that for R. Then U= R+ 2 and H= U+ 1. When Ryan and Hassan work together, they take one minute and thirty seconds to fill an order. As above, $\displaystyle \frac{RH}{R+ H}= \frac{3}{2}$. This is a fourth equation, but you only need three equations to solve for three unknown values. You can check to see if your values for H and R, from above, satisfy this equation that is, check if the information given is consistent. Last edited by Country Boy; April 22nd, 2018 at 12:08 AM.  
April 22nd, 2018, 12:04 AM  #5 
Math Team Joined: Dec 2013 From: Colombia Posts: 7,671 Thanks: 2651 Math Focus: Mainly analysis and algebra 
Here's a similar problem worked and explained: 
April 22nd, 2018, 08:46 AM  #6 
Math Team Joined: Dec 2013 From: Colombia Posts: 7,671 Thanks: 2651 Math Focus: Mainly analysis and algebra 
I get $\frac{20}{19}$ minutes ($\approx 63$ seconds) for all three together. One of Country Boy's solutions is discarded because it leads to a negative rate of work for one of the Baristas. 
April 22nd, 2018, 09:28 AM  #7 
Math Team Joined: Oct 2011 From: Ottawa Ontario, Canada Posts: 14,597 Thanks: 1038 
Hmmm...I get 720/11 seconds (65.454545....) Well, I'm close to yours ! 
April 22nd, 2018, 12:46 PM  #8 
Math Team Joined: Jan 2015 From: Alabama Posts: 3,264 Thanks: 902  
April 22nd, 2018, 01:35 PM  #9 
Math Team Joined: Dec 2013 From: Colombia Posts: 7,671 Thanks: 2651 Math Focus: Mainly analysis and algebra  
April 22nd, 2018, 02:07 PM  #10 
Math Team Joined: Oct 2011 From: Ottawa Ontario, Canada Posts: 14,597 Thanks: 1038 
The word barista is an Italian word, and in Italy, a barista is a male or female "bartender", who typically works behind a counter, serving hot drinks (such as espresso), cold alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and snacks. 

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employee, problem, time, urgent, word 
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