The story of a day in the life of an unsuccessful office worker

10:30am How to make sensible decisions

Your decisions determine your destiny. 

Sensible decisions are crucial for success. 

My professional training has taught me to undertake a cost-benefit analysis when faced with important decisions. Under this approach, the benefits of undertaking a certain action are compared to any costs or drawbacks of this action. 

I am now faced with an important decision. It’s ten thirty and a caffeine fix is required. Should I go over to the coffee shop with Jack and Arnie or should I tolerate instant coffee from the staff tea-room?   

Drawing on my professional expertise, I undertake a cost benefit analysis in order to help me choose the best option. 


Benefits of going to coffee shop 

·        Taste:  Fresh tasting cappuccino at the coffee shop beats barely drinkable instant caffeine fix  from staff room; 

·        Food:  Doughnuts, vanilla slices and muffins also available.  

·        Conversation: Tea-room topics such as who’s complaining about what in which department, the best specials at the supermarket and the latest sex scandal in Hollywood are not as interesting as coffee shop discussions about football, hot stock tips and the latest developments in Jack’s divorce proceedings. 

·        Polluted air: I get one minute and twenty six seconds of true polluted city air while crossing the street to get to the shop. Polluted air yes, but real air nonetheless. 


Cost of going to the shop 

·        Cost: An important consideration given that I am far from affluent.  

The offerings in the kitchen may be barely consumable, but they are free. The premium offerings at the coffee shop are not. Quality costs. 

·        Backstabbing: Absence from tea room discussions about who’s complaining about what in which department is risky as you may become an easy target for backstabbing. 

Given that I did not eat breakfast, considerable weight must be given to the food factor on the benefits side. 

On balance, the benefits of going to the coffee shop outweigh the costs. So I’m going. 

When faced with important decisions, undertaking a cost benefit analysis will help you to select the best option. 

Better decisions lead to better outcomes and a more successful life.

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