Problem: Today’s Dilbert strip hit pretty close to home. He has a conversation in which he is invited to lunch. He then learns that the inviters have yet to decide where to eat,so he bails in order to avoid the 15-30 minute hallway meeting on whether Panda Express is preferred to Jason’s Deli.
This used to be a regular occurrence around our water cooler.
Solution: I HATE that “I dunno where do you want to go” conversation that inevitably delays the mid day outing. We have a unique solution that you are free to institute in your own daily lunch routine.
Rule: We do not discuss where we are headed until we are in the car and out of the parking lot. This provides two things. First it gets us out the door and we can have that conversation in the car on the way to wherever the driver heads – which is usually in the direction of the largest group of options or known favorites. We already know we are leaving, why postpone that when we can use the time in the car to decide the destination. Second, it creates a forcing function on the getting the decision made in a timely fashion. This requires a sub-rule, the driver is generally free to force a destination if the group is not converging on an answer or is just not paying attention and discussing other topics. If you care, speak up or eat wherever you end up. If you don’t really care, shut up and enjoy not having to listen to everyone haggle in the hallway while they eat into your lunch hour.
This causes confusion of Dilbert’s kind if someone new gets invited because we don’t know where we are going by definition. But I can say one thing, its been years since I was rushed to eat my sandwich because of hallway haggling.