Thursday Special

Last Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

Trudy and Jim Donavan and their kids moved into a sparsely developed…….

This true story was resolved in a very creative way.  Trudy consulted a realtor and put that neighbor’s house on the market.  When the realtor showed up at their door and told the neighbors how much their home was worth,  hey could not believe their property had appreciated that much in 25 years.  Mom looked at dad and dad looked at mom.  Dad said, “With that kind of money, I could retire immediately.”  Mom said, “We could travel.”  Both agreed that all the kids were old enough to be on their own.

They put the house on the market and within three months Trudy and Jim Donavan had new really nice neighbors.

Scenario #2

You have a neighbor whose yard looks like a garbage dump……..


This true story was resolved when the health department was asked to get involved.  These neighbors were given three weeks to get the place cleaned up or face a very heavy fine which, if they neglected to pay, would result in a lien being put on their property by the town.


Scenario #3

Your neighbor has serious drinking problem………..


This true story was resolved through the justice system.  The neighbor with the drinking problem found himself being sued for both property damage and vehicular endangerment.  The court ordered him into a nine month rehabilitation facility and revoked his driver’s license for one year to begin after he completed his rehab.  He also had to pay for all the repairs of the property damage and the medical bills for the son.



This Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

Abacus Software develops specialized software programs for individual companies.  Greg Howard, one of the software developers, has been working with an investment firm to develop a very complicated program designed to track various investment products.  The policy of Abacus Software is to accept changes and revisions from the clients up to the moment when the developer begins his work. Greg believes and has been assured by his boss that he has full authority and responsibility to interact with the client from concept to product delivery.  He is to make all the decisions relating to the project along the way.

Greg’s client calls every day with new ideas he wants incorporated into the software package making it impossible for Greg to get the project off his desk.  Following company policy, Greg accepted the first several changes and then told the client that since he had started on the development, no more changes would be accepted.

The client then went to Greg’s boss and pleated his case for more changes.  Greg’s boss, Weldon Deutsch told Greg that this was a valuable client and therefore an exception should be made for him.  Now Greg is unsure about the company’s policy and how it is applied.  Moreover, now, because he told the client “No more changes” and must now reverse himself on accepting those changes, he feels like a fool in the face of the client and depressed over the fact that his authority was nothing but a mirage.

If you were Greg, what would you do?

Scenario #2

It is a cold, dark Monday morning in November.  An icy mix is falling making the roads slippery and dangerous. Spencer Sportsman phones his boss and tells him it is much too dangerous for him to drive so he will not be coming in to work today.  Sam then calls his good buddy Howe Hunter and says, “Why don’t we go duck hunting today?” The men agree to meet at some specified location fifty miles away braving the dangerous roads to sit  with cold, wet feet in a freezing wet duck blind in the sleeting rain by the lake waiting for hours to shoot at some poor defenseless ducks.

Why is Spencer Sportsman putting so much more energy into his recreational activities than he does into his work?  Why is he so eager to put his body into such physically uncomfortable and dangerous situations when his work would never demand anything similar? 

Scenario #3

A high tech medical laboratory was experiencing a steady growth rate of 23% per year.  It was obvious that their present facility would not be able to contain the staff needed to sustain that growth in the coming year.  The lab’s management made a decision to buy and refurbish an existing building rather than build a new facility.  When an appropriate building was located, it was sixty miles away from the original site.

Management made the decision to split the work force; some departments would remain in the old location and others would be moved into the new quarters sixty miles away.  The employees had been told a new facility was in the works.  What they had not been told was that the new facility was 60 miles away and that half the departments would be going to the new location, half remaining at the original location.

The Vice President of Operations had already determined which departments would remain at the old location and which would move to the new location.  However, he refused to provide that information to the staff. He believed that as soon as the announcement was made, his office would be flooded with complaints by people who were dissatisfied with the decision.

On a Monday, one week before the new facility was to open,  each employee received an E-mail which stated what departments were staying and which were moving.  By Friday noon, the Vice President of Operations received 1,941 resignations from a total work force of 3,610.  “I knew this would happen,” he said.  “People really do hate change and it doesn’t make one bit of difference whether you tell them up front or at the last minute.”  What do you think?”  Was the Vice President of Operations correct in his assessment?

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