Civil unrest is brewing at the office. Our daily lunch-catering service is under contention.
Silicon Valley Office Politics: The fights are so vicious because the stakes are so low.
Mondays-Wednesdays-Fridays, we order from Eat Club, a lunch box service that delivers from local restaurants. The other two days we use Farm Hill, a farm-to-table service that provides locally-sourced boxes of foliage.
Some people appreciate the intestinal regularity provided by artisanal roughage. The rest of us recognize that our lives suck and want to dull the pain with highly processed carbs.
My boss decided that the only way to settle the lunch-catering question would be to conduct an office-wide poll.
My slack poll was quickly met with complaints. But its replacement was no better!
Sure, the question seems unbiased. But how does one interpret the results?
Zer0 clearly won the race. However, the other half of the office could have easily colluded to throw the results. In fact, had the individuals voting for 5 or 2 known the eventual outcome, they would have sacrificed their preferences to side with 1.
Is the solution, then, to weigh the votes and find the average? That would give us 1.13. Though the individuals who chose 5 surely voted higher than their true preference in order to shift the average from the zer0s. Were the zer0-voters doing the same, but opposite?
And so the poll became a twisted two-thirds-average consensus game. When you try to be fair to everyone, you end up pleasing no one.
The likely outcome is that we’ll do nothing. Maybe that was the intention of those behind the stalemate all along.
Next Week’s Hot-Button issue: Organic fair-trade coffee providers. Blue Bottle Coffee service, or Green Mountain Keurig cups?