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▼ BROWSE ISSUES ▼
Issue 46

Mișu and His Easter Bonus

Simona Bonghez
Speaker, trainer and consultant
OTHERS

- Gogu, do you think we'll get an Easter bonus?

- Why do you ask me, Mișu? Ask the Boss. How am I supposed to know?!

- They gave us a bonus last year... Mișu went on, looking at Gogu in a telling way.

- Do you think we'll get one if you stare at me like that? Do you think we'll convince him?! For real, Mișu, what's your problem, man? Or maybe you think we've climbed high enough on the hierarchical ladder and I am the one who decides how to spread the company money around?

- Well, no, not like that. But you could talk to the Boss, right? Mișu shrank his eyes until they became two straight lines which kept staring at Gogu.

- Now ain't that cute. Don't pull those Chinese eyes on me, mister. You might hypnotise me. Although ... The truth is I could: I will tell him to double last year's bonus and give us a couple of extra days. What do you say?

Mișu kept quiet and disappointed, but did not make his eyes round again.

- On second thought, maybe it would be better to ask for an additional salary, the thirteenth salary, and for a company-paid holiday in Greece. What do you think?

- Comm'on, Gogu, you're mocking me! Mișu finally caught on.

- Who started it, man? said Gogu, but stopped and added, on a totally changed tone of voice, overlooking Mișu's shoulder: Boss, we're so happy you're here! Mișu froze.

- Boys, we have a situation! says he, and pulls a chair. The people in the office, who had been all eyes and ears at Gogu and Mișu's conversation, soon gathered around. The Boss waited until everybody was quiet, after which he said, slightly theatrically:

- Boys, there's been a precedent! He looked to the left, he looked to the right, but nobody moved. All eyes were staring at him and nobody moved a muscle. Someone..., he repeated stressing every single syllable, SO-ME-ONE... created a precedent.

- Say it already! Obviously, Gogu said to himself, but it was clear that the same thing was on everybody's mind. All had given up. They knew that the Boss cannot give up his suspense moments, so everybody played along, and all eyes were staring at his lips. However, this time, the Boss had prolonged the agony too much, and Mișu broke down:

- And who is this "somebody"?

- Wrong! Said the Boss triumphantly. The correct question is: What is the precedent? It would be even fairer to ask: How do we solve the precedent?

- Well, you answer both questions, Boss, and then Mișu will ask you a question about the bonus and we are done for today, Gogu the smart ass said, but to himself, 'cause he still loved his life. But, since the silence was becoming unbearable, he said:

- Comm'on, Boss, don't keep us in suspense; we are not the Easter bunny on a grill. Tell us what we need to do.

- Hmm, is there anything else we can do? the Boss softened. The truth is I don't know how we are going to pull this one out: the development team has a problem with Marius, the product owner. He didn't attend the last two retrospective meetings and now he says that, since nobody complained and the project moves forward, there is no need for him to attend anymore. And he talked to our BA and convinced him too. Oh boy, this thing is more contagious than measles.

- So we have a problem now? Mișu went on.

- You won't give up silly questions, will you now? There is no "now", the Boss continued, but there's gonna be one soon. The Scrum Master says that the dimension stories have is not ok. Neither are the acceptance criteria. He is not happy. Did the owner take part in the retrospective to hear what the team says? He was and now he does not truly believe that he must do something. And, even if this "now" - and he looked at Mișu angrily- will not have negative consequences, we won't be out of the woods next time either. So how do we get this guy involved in the retrospective sessions once more? God damn' precedent...

- But why didn't he attend the retrospective last time? This time, all eyes turned towards Mișu reproachingly. It just wasn't his day for good questions.

- Oh well, I know it does not matter now, and withdrew quickly. We'll find a way! I get it!

The discussion went on until they developed a plan "to convince" Marius. He was a valuable man, but, "strong-headed", as the Boss said. The mood lightened up, the spirits calmed down, and the Boss was visibly delighted by the fact that all had got involved and had had a real productive discussion. He got up, planning to leave, but Mișu said:

- Look, Boss, about the precedent…. Does it always lead to repetition? Do you expect it to happen many times if it happens once? But don't rush me again...

- Ha-ha, the Boss smiled, here's a precedent right now, you expect me to rush you... This is what happens, Mișu, it is true. It is like in American movies when there's a trial on. Those people find a verdict, previously passed on in similar situations, and, bang! There's a precedent, so the verdict must be the same. So why are you staring at me?

- Well, I was thinking that we had an Easter bonus last year and bang! It's Easter again...

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