The Dog and the Rabbit
In management we often make assumptions based of the evidence we are faced with at the time, however, with a little more time and a better understanding of the situation, or event we might come to a different conclusion, or make a different decision. There is a lot of credibility in ‘stepping back and taking a second look’ and then re-evaluating the problems’ position before jumping to any conclusions about the situation. The following story highlights this!
John was asked by a friend if he could look after his dog for the day whilst he attended a function. As a very young Springer Spaniel leaving it on its own for a whole day would result in a wrecked house! John agreed and the day arrived and so did the dog who was called ‘Henry’, John had quite a large garden that was well fenced all round so he let Henry loose to explore his temporary home. John settled into a garden chair with a good book and a large glass of wine. Henry ran round the garden for a while and then settled on the lawn in the sunshine. John drank his wine and read his book.
Unfortunately, John fell asleep and awoke over an hour later to find the dog had disappeared! Oh no! After a frantic search Henry was in the next-door neighbour’s garden digging a hole in a flower bed. (Henry’s owner had omitted to tell John that Henry had a liking for digging holes and burying things.) He had already dug several holes in John’s Garden and a large hole under the garden fence to escape. Fortunately, the neighbour was out for the day so, John quicky retrieved the dog and then set about hiding any evidence of the event. Armed with a rake and shovel John filled the hole under the fence and then onto the flower bed where he noticed something white at the bottom of the hole. On a closer inspection it was the children’s pet rabbit, unfortunately now deceased! John looked over to the rabbit hutch to see the door wide open and what has happened whilst he was asleep was becoming painfully obvious. He quickly rushed back to his house with the dead rabbit and told his wife what had happened, and they came up with a plan to wash the rabbit and blow-dry its fur and put it back in its hutch!
John’s friend arrived and collected the dog and duly departed, John settled back in the garden chair with a very large glass of wine and his book. After a while the neighbouring family returned, and John could hear the cries of ‘The rabbit! The rabbit!!’ from one of the children. John with glass in hand wandered over to the adjoining fence and asked his neighbour if everything was OK. ‘Well not really John, it’s the rabbit’. ‘Oh dear, has it died’ John inquired, his neighbour replied ‘Well, yes, but that’s not the problem! It died last week, and we buried it in the garden, but its somehow got itself back into the hutch!!
As a manager we manage staff, who most of the time just come to work and get on with their jobs, but occasionally even the most sensible of them do the most stupid things. Unfortunately, human curiosity of boredom (or both) is often the cause of their downfall. As this apparently true story demonstrates…
Two police officers were sent out for the morning to check for motorists exceeding the prescribed forty miles per hour speed limit on the A912 (Dunkeld Rd) on the outskirts of Perth. It was mid-morning, and the traffic was very light (and well behaved). Both offices were getting rather bored with the lack of activity when in the distance they could see a pair of RAF fighter jets returning north to RAF Lossiemouth and one of the officers nudged the other and said, “what speed do you think they are doing?” the other office replied, “I’ll soon tell you” He then pointed the radar gun at the approaching aircraft. Unfortunately, the display on the back of the gun went blank and they were unable to obtain a speed reading. Undeterred they then resumed their monitoring of approaching motorists only to find that the radar gun was no longer working at all. They had little choice but to abandon their task and return to the police station. Upon their arrival they were met by the Chief Superintendent of the traffic division who bellowed at them “my office now!!” where he informed them, he had just had a very painful conversation with the Commanding Officer at RAF Lossiemouth who was asking why police offices were checking the speed of his aircraft? He also pointed out that the radar gun had most likely been destroyed by the aircraft defence systems. He also pointed out the aircraft was also capable of automatically firing a missile at the radar source too, but fortunately for the police officers the system wasn’t armed!