The Three Envelopes

Read this in a slashdot comment today and it made me smile:

An IT manager starts a new position.

All goes well for a few weeks, then something big breaks. Lots of pressure. Rooting around in his desk, he finds 3 envelopes. The first is labeled “Open at the First Crisis”. On a whim, he opens it and the note inside reads “Blame it on your Predecessor”. He decides to take this advice and to his surprise, it works like a charm, management is satisfied, he is given time to fix things.

A few months go by and a something much bigger breaks, seriously disrupting operations. He is in trouble. At his desk, he decides to open the envelope labeled: “Open at the Second Crisis”. He’d been saving it for something big, and this is it. The note inside says: “Form a Committee to Study the Issue”. He does just that and, to his surprise, it works great. The committee wastes time and accomplishes nothing, but blame is diffused.

A few years go by. The third and final envelope is labeled: “Open at the Third Crisis”. He thinks about opening it many times, but he waits, saving it for a real disaster. One day, it comes. Catastrophic failure. He takes a deep breath, tears the envelope open and inside, finds a note that reads: “Prepare Three Envelopes”.

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