Join us in June(mostly)
CEOs and boards preach fiscal responsibility and cost cutting without smelling the pungent irony.
New year, new cuts. New governments, new rationales to save money. New managers, time to trim that fat. Programs are cut, or they are reduced. Job are cut or apportioned among a smaller pool of people. People are downsized. Unlike Antman, getting downsized doesn’t make us stronger or more effective.
No one is expendable. If people are sitting at desks twiddling their thumbs then they haven’t been assigned meaningful work or given the training to see what else could be done. We have all worked in corporate cultures, both private and government, where coasting through the days is routine. This is not because the people are not needed, or that work needing to be done is not available.
Many public parks and streets could be cleaned by workers who are idle or on reduced schedules. Many actual projects could replace unnecessary road ‘repairs’. How many office tasks could be accomplished in lieu of the six-hour meetings? In fact, this isn’t the real issue. Government houses cry budget and cost cutting up until it comes time to boost their own salaries and cash their own pension checks.
CEOs and boards preach fiscal responsibility and cost cutting without smelling the pungent irony. The services that are cut. The help that is no longer available and the individuals, families, and communities that are impacted have little relevance for social and economic visionaries valiantly struggling towards the 18th hole.
CSR: Good morning. Pay Now Fly Whenever Airlines
Customer: Oh yes. Good morning.
CSR: Can I help you?
Customer: I’d like to …. I need to reschedule my flight.
CSR: When is it?
Customer: At 5:30.
CSR: Where are you going?
Customer: I’m going to Jamaica.
CSR: What airline are you traveling with?
Customer: Jamaica Air.
CSR: When do you want to reschedule for?
Customer: For later this afternoon, if that’s possible?
CSR: Okay do you have your ticket?
Customer: Yes, Ah here it is.
CSR: Okay …. That’s Jamaica Air from New York. Uh oh …Okay. No flights this afternoon.
Customer: No flights?
CSR: Not until Tuesday.
Customer: My vacation isn’t that long.
CSR: That’ll be two thousand, one hundred and thirty-four dollars.
CSR: Two thousand, one hundred and thirty-four dollars for a return ticket.
Customer: What. I only paid One thousand, four hundred for the package.
CSR: Ah, you had a package.
CSR: Well then …nothing I can do.
Customer: What do you mean?
CSR: You need to call your travel agent.
Customer: Aren’t you a travel agent?
CSR: We wholesale tickets. The agent is listed at the bottom of your ticket.
Customer: Hmmm, yes. Now I see it. Dodgy Destinations. Wow … how did I not see that name?
CSR: Call them and they should be able to reschedule things.
Customer: Oh, did I wake you?
Mechanic: Did you wake me? Who is this?
Customer: You’re fixing my car.
Mechanic: Do you know what time it is?
Customer: It’s late
Mechanic: Or early – depending on how you look at it.
Customer: I’m sorry. I didn’t know …
Mechanic: Okay. What do you want?
Customer: I’m at the airport and I don’t have a passport.
Customer: It’s in my car.
Customer: My passport. I left it in my car.
Mechanic: And …
Customer: I need it. Can you bring it to me?
Mechanic: Are you insane? I’m a mechanic, not a courier.
Customer: Could you have it sent here?
Mechanic: What time does your flight leave?
Customer: At 5:30.
Mechanic: It’s – it’s 4:40. I don’t have enough time to get to the garage and get your passport to the airport.
Customer: But I’ll miss my flight.
Mechanic: Why don’t you take a later flight?
Customer: I don’t know? …
Mechanic: You’re not going to make it. It’s too far.
Customer: Why is it too far?
Mechanic: First I have to get to the garage; then I have to open up, and then I have to find your passport in your car. Next, I have to call a courier and wait for him to arrive. Finally, the courier has to get to the airport. The fastest that’s going to happen is two hours.
Customer: Two hours?
Mechanic: I think we’re really looking at three or four hours …even if I can find a 24-hour courier.
Customer: What should I do?
Mechanic: I think you should reschedule your flight.
Customer: Reschedule? … for when?
Mechanic: If I were you I’d reschedule for later in the afternoon.
This is a good chance to try an activity on intent and inflection. Call a student aside and tell them to be happy when they read, tell the other to be angry. Next time try one sad and one happy. Try energetic and really tired. Ask the audience to judge how effectively the speakers communicated. Don’t let the audience in on what the subtext is all about. With time, they can identify things for themselves.