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  • Steve Scarre, FCMA, CGMA

You Can't Have Bacon in a White Baguette


Are you frustrated with petty rules and regulations? Here’s an example. I recently went into a large supermarket in Ripon, North Yorkshire, as I had heard that they served excellent bacon sandwiches. In front of me were warming trays of bacon and other meats. In nice wicker baskets on the counter were 3 types of bread rolls: baguettes, white crusty rolls and brown crusty rolls. I asked for some well-done bacon in a white baguette. I was told by the sales assistant, “You can’t have bacon in a white baguette.” Using my mediation background, I asked why. She replied, “Because white baguettes are for beef.” No way could I manage to change her mind, despite the fact that both sandwiches cost the same. What did I do? I turned around and walked out, feeling very frustrated. She lost a sale. What she could have done is say to me, “Look, I am not supposed to sell bacon in white baguettes but what the hell?” In that way, she would have thought and acted differently, using her common sense. What if people like Albert Einstein, Florence Nightingale, Marie Curie, John Lennon or Steve Jobs hadn’t thought ‘outside the box’?

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