Last fall, in “A negotiator walks into a bar“, I passed along a humorous story offering lessons in problem solving that a friend happened to email me. Over the weekend, this same friend emailed me another joke, which likewise serves double-duty as a cautionary tale for negotiators.
Here it is:
A large company, thinking it was high time for a shake-up, hired a new CEO.
The new boss was determined to rid the company of all slackers.
On a tour of the facilities, the CEO noticed a guy leaning against a wall. The room was full of workers, and the CEO wanted them to know that he meant business. He walked up to the guy leaning against the wall and demanded, “How much money do you make a week?” A little surprised, the guy looked at him and replied, “I make $400 a week. Why?”
The CEO pulls out his wallet, hands the guy $1,600 in cash and yells, “Here’s four weeks’ pay, now get out and don’t come back!”
Feeling pretty good about himself, the CEO looked around the room and asked, “Does anyone want to tell me what that slacker did around here?”
For a moment, silence reigned. Then, a worker close by gathered the courage to speak up: “Pizza delivery guy from Domino’s.”
The moral of the story: ask questions before you decide, not after.