This lunchtime Region visited the staff canteen. Audit, Marketing, Planning, Legal and Country Management all chose the same meal: Bangers and mash. Region chatted while they ate their meal; each had three sausages neatly arranged atop a pile of mashed potato but slowly a fear that had been niggling just below the surface of conscious thought rose like a submarine breaking through thick pack ice: Country Management had only two and a half sausages! At first Region were stunned then there was pandemonium.
At the beginning of the meal it had occurred to Country Management that only two sausages comprised the lunch time meal but after digging around a bit a third sausage was revealed beneath the other two. However, further investigation revealed the shocking truth: The third sausage had been cut in half and placed flat side down in order to appear as if it were a whole third sausage.
Country Management was outraged and strode off to complain. The chef was summoned and admitted that he had only had five sausages left and so had cut one down the middle but no apology was forthcoming and no replacement sausage was offered.
Country Management felt tricked into a “sucker punch”. A complaint would be made to Management. Planning concurred and branded the half sausage appalling. A debate ensued and opinion was divided. Marketing would not take the issue seriously and Audit merely made facetious remarks. “He didn’t even say sorry” complained Country Management “I felt like hitting him”. Audit pointed out that the challenge when complaining about such an issue was overcoming the comedy potential of the sausage. “It may have been different were it a burger” said Audit but “one is on thin ice when one complains about a sausage”.
Planning dismissed such concerns and agreed strongly with Country Management suggesting that a complaint be brought to the attention of HR. “They should be told that Country Management only has half a sausage”.
But was this a Planning issue? Would this not more properly be categorised, according to the new Regional standard policy framework, as being an issue for Risk? Marketing suggested that next time the meal should be poked around with a pen to determine the quantity of sausages prior to purchase.
“It really fucking pissed me off” said Country Management, “and worse still, no apology, nobody has said sorry. They’ve cut portion sizes down and reduces the size of bowls. Now this!”