An afternoon's worth of reminders of why we are where we are, with an object demonstration of the Public Library Manager Negotiation Model. In brief, the Model works like this:
- Months, or even years, before the event you find out that Something Is Going To Happen. "Plenty of time for that," you say.
- Do nothing.
- If underlings ask, say that nothing is happening.
- If underlings suggest that perhaps "we should decide what we're going to do about this," don't deign to even reply.
- Your first meeting with your adversary is arranged. Do nothing.
- Go to the negotiating table armed with a blank piece of paper. It is important that you have no idea of your desired outcomes of the negotiation.
- Be black aggrieved that your adversary has prepared a negotiating position.
- Be sore affronted that their negotiating position proposes that any advantages go to them.
- On leaving the meeting complain that it's all been stitched up and that there's nothing you can do about it.
- Repeat ad absurdum.
I'd insisted on a pre-meeting meeting (I know, but I'm covering my back). Luckily these days the lead officer on this one is Milton so I only had to be a little insistent (for some people I have to be downright offensive before they'll budge). Even so it was somewhat dispiriting:
"Does the Library Service have a counter-proposal for this?"
"There's no point: they've decided what they want and that's what's going to happen."