Thursday, July 27, 2006


Parable of the Sandwiches

The university librarian called for an emergency meeting to discuss how the university library staff would participate in the forthcoming university anniversary.
So the library was temporarily closed for a total participation of the staff in the meeting.
So the meeting was held.
For more than an hour the library staff discussed the activities.
Then they discussed on what to eat for lunch.
One staff said that the staff just buy food at the university canteen.
Then somebody said that they buy sandwiches from a known foodstand.
This was approved by the whole group. No question, except that a sandwich might not be enough for a lunch. But then nobody objected on the decision to buy sandwiches for lunch.
The next day, a staff member canvassed on the prices of the different sandwiches.
When he returned to the library, he told the administrative officer of the prices of the different kinds sandwiches.
By then somebody changed her mind and refused to buy the sandwich. This encouraged other staff not to buy it.
The administrative officer had told everybody else about their decision not to buy sandwiches anymore, except the university librarian and the readers services head..
When the readers service head learned about it, he inquired why.
It turned out that one staff member from the technical section backed out from the agreed decision.
He just wondered why the univesity librarian did not act on this. It turned out that she herself did not know of the change of the decision.
When she knew it, she did not raise any voice.
Later it was decided that the group would just bring his/her own food.
The issue here is not on what to eat for lunch.
But on the implementation of a group decision and how the group decision was suddenly dropped without the approval of the group that made it.
And the lost library services to the students while the staff were discussing on what to eat for lunch.

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