FABLE OF THE ANT

as heard on the good stuff with jim thompson

 

Every day, a small ant arrives at work very early and starts work immediately. She produces a lot and she was happy. The chief, a lion, was surprised to see that the ant was working without supervision. He thought if the ant can produce so much without supervision, wouldn’t she produce even more if she had a supervisor!

 

So he recruited a cockroach who had extensive experience as supervisor and who was famous for writing excellent reports. The cockroach’s first decision after taking charge was to set up a clock in the attendance system. He also needed a secretary to help him write and type his reports and he recruited a spider, who managed the archives and monitored all the phone calls.

 

The lion was delighted with the cockroach’s reports and asked him to produce graphs to describe production rates and to analyse trends, so that he could use them for presentations at Board meetings. So the cockroach had to buy a new computer and a laser printer and recruited a fly to manage the IT department.

 

The ant, who had once been so productive and relaxed, hated this new plethora of paperwork and meetings which used up most of the time. The lion came to the conclusion that it was high time to nominate a person in charge of the department where the ant worked. The position was given to the cicada, whose first decision was to buy a carpet and an ergonomic chair for his office.

 

The new person in charge, the cicada, also needed a computer and a personal assistant, who he brought from his previous department, to help him prepare a Work and Budget

Control Strategic Optimisation Plan.

 

The department where the ant worked is now a sad place, where nobody laughs anymore and everybody has become upset. It was at that time that the cicada convinced the boss, the lion, of the absolute necessity to start a climatic study of the environment. Having reviewed the charges for running the ant’s department, the lion found out that the production was much less than before.

 

So he recruited the owl, a prestigious and renowned consultant to carry out an audit and suggest solutions. The owl spent three months in the department and came up with an enormous report, in several volumes, that concluded: ‘The department is overstaffed.’

 

Guess, who the lion fires first? The ant, of course, because she showed lack of motivation and had a negative attitude.

 

Note: The characters in this fable are fictitious and any resemblance to real people or facts within the Corporate World is purely coincidental

 

And this is why we have added over 200,000 new federal employees in the past two years, and no one can explain why we are still in a recession. It's not a good time to be an ant.