Wednesday, April 25, 2012

One Duck, or Two?

As I move through the story of my personal experiences with CASARA, it is important that you know something about some of the other players. This is a story told to me by the person who was acting as the mediator in a dispute between the unit director and I. I should have taken it as a cautionary tale, unfortunately I didn't.

This person has relatives who have oriental ancestry and celebrate culturally important days with traditional foods, in this case duck prepared by a local small business. My erstwhile mediator decided that since the family was large and there would be many people sitting down to dinner there should be two ducks. He was told that was impossible. The supplier, possibly because demand far outstripped their ability to supply, had a one duck per customer rule. "Not a problem, just wait, you'll see" he said.

There are a number of ways one could solve this problem: Find two suppliers, Learn how to prepare the duck at home, Try to convince the proprietor that the size of the festive gathering justified two ducks. None of those were tried though. Our hero simply told the proprietor that he would be attending two dinners, and was responsible for procuring a duck for each. This still took some convincing, but eventually two ducks were ordered, and in the fullness of time picked up and enjoyed.

So, what is the big deal? A little white lie won't hurt anybody? Well, just the family that might otherwise have gotten duck number two, but had to do without that year. Or maybe the proprietor spent more time and effort to prepare an extra duck. Time that could have been spent enjoying the festivities with family. The big deal, to my mind, is the ease with which the truth becomes mailable in order to achieve a personal goal. This story, what eventually transpired during the mediation (which I will get to) caused me to re-evaluate some of my previous experiences with this person and completely change my opinion of him.

What was really surprising is that when I talked to my wife about this, she said she had known that about him for years and it was one of the reasons she left CASARA in frustration when she did. Go figure. When in doubt always check with the wife.

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