Three black men and one Chinese woman walk into a room and close the door. After fifteen minutes, you hear rumbles of male voices, and an occasional shriek of a female who obviously has something on her mind. Now before your perverted mind goes too deep into the gutter, the four people are college students, the room is located at the school library, and the rumbles and shrieks are an argument over strategic business planning for a class project.
Welcome to my Saturday morning. At 8:00 AM, I had the pleasure of meeting with three group members from a strategic business course to outline a semester long project. The goal of the meeting was to map out a business, its benefits plan, and how best to assign group responsibilities so that the grade on the project is acceptable for all members.
Within the first ten minutes one of our group members, a gentleman from Africa whom I’ll call Mjinga (fool), decided he knew more than all the other students about how the group should be run and to tell the group what to do and how to do their parts of the project. Mjinga was not aware that Kamau (warrior) was in the group.
Kamau, my inner warrior spirit, woke up and verbally bitch slapped that Mjinga for ignoring the first rule of a team, working together. I reminded him that the all mighty professor had not granted him rights to run the group, and that the purpose of the meeting was for all members to decide on how they felt the group should run, and not how one member was going to manage the group.
Mjinga understandably pissed off after being emasculated verbally by another alpha male attempted to get support by getting the other members of the group on his side. Our other group members must not have been happy about his tactics either. I swear it was as if Muhammad Ali and Madam Mao took turns kicking him verbally in the groin. The nicest thing I heard from them is that he was an idiot for trying to start a fight at 8:00 AM.
The upshot was that the group did decide on leadership and defined rolls. We also worked out that our best design for a fake business was a bank and that we would do better to focus on a realistic profile rather than an elaborate cookie cutter model. It is better to play it safe, than to gamble on grades.
Oh, what happened to Madam Mao, Kamau, and Muhammad Ali? After the meeting, we went to breakfast and discussed Mjinga with much bad language and rude jokes. Ali had to go off to work, but his closing line is something I will never forget. “I pity the fool who screws with us when we’re hungry.”