Another update from the Jungle…
Meg is mad as heck at a couple of people. She’s mad at Beth who she sees as a competitor for the next promotion. She’s even more mad at Dave, their supervisor, who is one of the dimmest bulbs Meg has ever known. Dave’s dim because he can’t see that Beth is a detriment to the team.
Beth works diligently at every task assigned to her. She’s the to-go person for Dave when he needs some help with short deadlines. She is pleasant but doesn’t hang out with co-workers. She doesn’t join the gossip sessions about other employees and never seems to complain. Meg is convinced it’s all an act. No experienced worker can be that pure of heart and deed.
After weeks of stewing about it, Meg has finally hatched a scathingly brilliant plan to solve all her problems. She sits at home one evening, gloating over how great life will be when she convinces Dave to shove Beth out the door. The very next day she puts her plan in motion.
Meg begins her campaign to get rid of Beth by asking Dave to join her for lunch. Dave occasionally has lunch with subordinates so he doesn’t suspect a thing. Meg lets Dave choose the restaurant, hoping to mellow him further.
As they eat their burgers and fries, Meg talks about the major project that will soon begin. She suggests changes to how duties are assigned. She says it will increase efficiency. But her changes are revolutionary, requiring complete restructuring of the organizational chart. As a result of the restructured org chart, several jobs, including Beth’s, will be eliminated. Meg blithely suggests that these workers will be much happier working in a different division of the company.
Dave methodically eats his burger and slurps his cold drink as he listens to Meg. His expression gives nothing away, he hopes, but inwardly he’s cursing his stupidity for agreeing to go to lunch with Meg.
What options are available to Dave?
- He can flee the restaurant and use Uber to get back to the office.
- He can make a new rule for himself in which he never goes to lunch with any of his subordinates again.
- He can recognize that Meg’s proposal arises from jealousy, thank her for her suggestions, and then take no further action.
In the actual situation, the manager decided to go to lunch with his subordinates only if they went as a group. He also began plotting how he could move the trouble-making subordinate out of his division.
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