Another update from the Jungle….
Dan is a branch manager for his company and he’s coasting toward retirement. He lost interest in his current career long ago after several major battles with his assistant. Her name is Adelaide and officially she’s the executive assistant, but unofficially she’s been running the branch office since Jimmy Carter’s administration.
When Adelaide decides how things should be done, everyone agrees. If they don’t their careers take a nosedive, as Dan learned during his first year as branch manager. He came in full of ideas for improving efficiency but Adelaide decided the office was fine “as is”. After months of battling, she won and Dan began planning his post-retirement career.
Dan’s boss isn’t happy and he’s trying to figure out how to increase profits in Dan’s office. He decides to test a new whiz-bang software program in Dan’s office to see if it helps the bottom line. He notifies Dan that a vendor rep will arrive on Monday morning to train the staff on the new software. Dan passes the information to Adelaide.
Monday morning, the vendor rep shows up to begin the training. Adelaide sails into the conference room almost 30 minutes late and majestically informs the vendor rep to start over.
The vendor rep quickly recaps half of her scheduled 60-minute presentation. As she highlights each feature, she asks attendees to imagine how the feature can improve their efficiency.
The vendor rep soon notices that everyone is watching Adelaide. If she nods, the comments are positive. If she shakes her head, the others say they can’t use the software feature. It’s obvious that Adelaide would rather eat broken glass than adopt the new software. The vendor rep limps on to the end of her allotted time and wraps up the meeting. The vendor rep has promised to give a status report to Dan’s boss.
What kind of report could the vendor rep give to Dan’s boss?
- She could lie and say the training went well, knowing her company has a big contract at stake.
- She could say that Adelaide is determined to block the use of the new software.
- She could decide to not give any report since she plans to ditch the sales career in favor of hanging out at the airport with the Hari Krishnas.
In the actual situation, the senior manager was angry that his pet project was shot down and he fired both the executive assistant and the branch manager. Unfortunately, he failed to follow the company’s written HR policies when he fired them; but that’s a different story.
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