Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fable of an Ant

Every day, a small ant arrives at work very early and starts work immediately. She produces a lot and she is 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 was to set up a clocking in 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 phone calls.

The lion was delighted with the cockroach’s reports and asked him to produce graphs to describe production rates and to analyze 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 her 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 Optimization Plan.

The Department where the ant works 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”.

Hat tip: Nick M.


  1. Obviously the lion never heard the saying "if it aint broke, don't fix it"

  2. That is just the way management works. Don't get rid of the top Monkeys. Fire the workers.

  3. This is so true of the work place. I'm so glad I was self employed!

  4. Another big plus of working for yourself. Great story but bad for the poor ant. Typical. Hope you are having the most wonderful week end Sandee. Happy sailing/ boating.

  5. Hmm, sounds like our guvmint:(

    Have a lovely w/ I know you two will. Big hugs, my friend...

  6. i'm not so sure this is a fable! have a great weekend honey!

    smiles, bee

  7. There will be more committees to examine the cause of failures and the lion may have to appoint a one man commission to scrutinize the performance of the above committee! A typical scenario under Indian condition!
    Have great weekend!

  8. I've read the entire series... The Chronicles of the Corporate Co-workers.

    It doesn't end well. Just saying.

    Big hugs honey xoxo

  9. People think that is how big business works. In truth that is how the Government works.

    Have a great weekend!

  10. I wouldn't mind being the ant, if you paid me like the lion.

  11. A good retirement plan I hope? :)

  12. That'd be a lot more funny if it wasn't so true.

  13. Sounds like true to me...

    Why was the ant a 'she'?

    Sounds like antism to me...!!

    Off with your aint's male ant haters...

    Aloha :)

  14. I'm with "T Bells", sounds like the federal government.

  15. This indeed sounds like how local and national government departments work in the UK. That's why we pay too much taxes and the country is in a mess...

  16. I can't agree more William

  17. Too many cooks in the kitchen, too many chiefs in the tribe...

    Yep, its goverment, I can attest to that. But its also much like the private sector.

    Sad. All we can do is do our jobs and hope for the best!

  18. oh it is just like our government before Sandee, lots of employees and they received handsome salary, but they just doing nothing. Im glad that the new government started to kick them out now one by one.

    Have a great day.

  19. This fable is just so true to life. They keep piling executives to do meaningless jobs into the upper eschelons of big companies yet when they need to make cuts to save money it's always the hard workers at the bottom if the pit the pit .who get the chop. Also applies to the Governments too


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