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So How's That working For You?

COOKIES: Yours? Mine? Ours?

There is a modern-day parable about a woman traveler who

was so pleased with herself for making the decision to buy a

bag of gourmet cookies just before boarding a plane as she

traveled on business. She had missed lunch and, though

overpriced, they would serve to tide her over during the long


Upon boarding her plane, she quickly found her window seat

and was pleased when the stewardess announced the closing

of the cabin door. This meant that the middle seat of the

three-across row was going to be empty. Both she and the

man sitting in the aisle seat both placed their belongings in the

empty seat as soon as the plane took off.

As she started reading through her work papers, she matter-of-

factly, reached over and took one of the cookies from the

package. It was hard to keep her composure as she saw the

aisle passenger’s hand in the peripheral vision reach over and

extract a cookie from the package. It was all she could do to

not address this shocking lack of manners. But she decided to

let it go.

As the flight continued it seemed that every time she took a

cookie so did the aisle passenger. Was this person trying to

make her mad? Were they “hitting on her” in a sophomoric

way? But she still held her tongue.

And then. And then, there was one cookie left. And then,

…this total stranger took the last cookie.

They had the audacity to take the last cookie. And, to add arrogance to

the equation, the aisle passenger broke it in half and offered half of

the last cookie to her. When she looked him in the eye he

actually smiled at her. He smiled at her. She said nothing.

But, all the way to her parking space she mumbled to herself

about the rudeness, the lack of manners and the absence of

any social graces to even ask permission to have “one” of her


When she got to her car she fumbled in her purse for her keys.

Something kept getting in her hand’s way. When she stopped

fumbling and actually looked into her bag she saw something

unexpected. She saw her bag of cookies right where she had

put them when she got change from the cashier.

Moral of the story: Communication is critical. It is quite often

at the heart of all misunderstandings. In the workplace, it is

essential to check your facts (or presumed facts).

Jumping to a conclusion…ever do that?

Get a copy for yourself or for a co-worker or friend. Go to


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