Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It is the decision of the council...

In a company like ours, there are a number of important decisions that must be made at certain points during the day, one of the more important decisions is lunch. Not only must a certain cuisine and specific restaurant be decided upon, there must also be concensus on when to go and whom to invite to come. This is not as an easy task as it might first seem since some places are more suitable for smaller groups and if too many people tag along it might not be physically possible to fit in.

The core lunch council consists of me, the Boy and Luke as the chairman and the discussion is usually initiated through IM around 30min before lunchtime since it can take a great while to come to a decision agreeable with all parties.

Personally I'm usually quite open to most ideas while the Boy requires portions suitably large to satisfy his abnormal hunger and in addition he rarely accept the cost to exceed 1000 yen, furthermore he also refuses to eat cuisine from the same geographical area twice in a row, never mind that there are different dishes within "Italian food".
Then we have Luke who is pretty picky on which places meets his standard on quality which means that the decision process can take significant time to make everyone somewhat in agreement. Also, to further complicate things we also sometimes have one or more guests participating in the decision process, either invited or self-invited. The phrase "I veto that" is pretty commonly used even though no one formally has a right to veto anything. But when the council has come to a decision it is irreversible and problems can occur if the restaurant in question is full and no contingency plan has been put in place...

The second important council that exists is the "Konbini Council" (or the convenience store council) which usually convene over IM sometime post lunch and the objective of that council is mostly to decide on a time to go out and by a snack between lunch and finishing hours. The general timing is sometime between 15:00 - 16:00 and often initiated by the Boy, Luke or the Texan but is much more ad hoc since it's not a guaranteed daily event even if it occurs most days. One alarming tendency recently has been by some parties to ignore the councils decision for a departure time, shaking the whole system to its core.

Then, for both these events, there's the ultimate offense, the unforgiveable; the thing you just don't do! You never ditch a member of the council and go without them unless you have their explicit approval to do so due to some specific circumstances. The intra-office politics can sometimes be difficult to navigate, but I think that I have done a good job so far in leading the council discussions and issuing announcements and declarations as necessary!

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