“I don’t understand what kind of person you are, why you won’t cover for your colleague who is pregnant” Chidinma screamed.

“Why should I cover for her? Doesn’t everyone have their problems, do you know mine? I don’t have to tell anyone my problems because it shouldn’t affect my work!” Abraham bellowed.

There I was, enjoying an argument between two colleagues with different point of views.

On one hand, we have the view that believes team work doesn’t think of the ideal because the ideal isn’t possible. She sees it as inhumane not to cover for a pregnant teammate [in this case covering means doing extra shifts so that the pregnant one can skip duty]

“What kind of husband will you become Mr Abraham?” Chidinma continued…

On the other hand, we have the view that believes in individualism and the ideal, believes there should be efficiency and if everyone does their job appropriately there would be no lapses. “If my wife is pregnant, she should take a leave from the job and face the pregnancy instead of trying to eat her cake and have it”. Ouch! A fierce debate getting personal

So in my head I decided to create a system. I hire 10 workers, each to produce 10 units per day.

Unfortunately for my business [fortunately for their family], worker E gets pregnant and can’t produce 10 units per day. Following Team Chidinma’s view, worker F should increase his work done to compensate for worker E. This would create an unhealthy balance between energy and reward gained as all workers are paid equally.

Following Team Abraham’s view, worker E should vacate work temporarily, but that would leave a deficit of 10 units which I won’t accept in my system.

“How do you suggest we handle this?” I asked the others [for we are many in my head]

What if we created a special worker Z, whose job is to cover for any deficit that occurs at anytime and is paid according to work done, so that would mean worker Z stepping in for E for the next months till she undergoes parturition and post partum periods. Then, when she is cleared to resume, worker Z goes back to his secret location, ready to save the day next time there is a distress.

I smiled in my head at the good system and continued to listen to the fierce argument which was already full of fire and rage…