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6. Salesman-Customer Interview Situation

Problem: You as a salesman sold two cars to two brothers. You assured them that the cars would be delivered in approximately five to six weeks. Under normal operating conditions this would have been a true statement, one which you could very easily fulfill. However, just before both cars are scheduled for production, the company goes on strike. As the salesman it is your duty to assure both brothers that:

  1. The strike won't last too long.

  2. .They will get their cars as soon as the strike is over.

  3. You are doing all you can to get their cars here as soon as possible.

The problem is further intensified after the strike ends. Delivery is already three weeks late, but to make matters worse, the car was shipped, but it has in some way gotten lost while en route and no one seems to have any idea where it is.

Situation: The two brothers are calling everyday to ask about their cars. Each time they call they tell you that they are getting less and less interested in the cars. In fact, toward the end they are both talking about canceling their orders. They both think that in some way you have pulled a fast deal on them. It is your job to make them understand (1) the reason the cars are delayed, and (2) that the cars will be along shortly.

7. Employer-Employee Interview Situation

Place: The dealer's office.

People: The dealer and the service manager.

Occasion: The service manager, who has been with the dealership five years, has apparently been

neglecting his job recently. Unapplied mechanics time has been rising, the shop is being left much dirtier than usual. In general, it appears that the service manager is not minding his business as he should. He has been a good service manager in the past, and the dealer doesn't know what has happened to change the situation. The purpose of the interview is to enable the dealer to find the cause of the problem and determine what can be done to alleviate it.

Group Hole-Play Exercises

The Sinking Ship

You are one of seven people who are the only survivors of a passenger ship that was hit in the South Pacific by an old World War II mine. You are now trapped in the bottom of the ship's hold, with only a small air lock to let you return to the surface. It takes approximately three minutes to operate the air lock to allow one person to escape.

The hold is steadily filling with water, and judging by the list of the ship, you have at the most fifteen minutes before the ship sinks quickly to the bottom of the 37,000-foot-deep Mariana trench.

Your problem is one of .survival. You are to determine as quickly as possible the most equitable way of deciding who will be saved in the fifteen minutes' time. Remember that it takes three minutes to save each person, so the maximum number that can be saved is five.

As each person is "saved," he or she will separate from the group and sit in a chair.' Both the amount of time taken by each person in the air lock and the remaining time left for the victims will be watched closely.

To impress the disaster victims with the seriousness of their situation, it is necessary to emphasize that those who are left in the hold will suffer a most hideous death—death by drowning.

Ability Grouping Meeting

The participating group members (group A) are to assume they represent the English teachers in a senior high school. The principal of the school has asked them to meet by themselves to formulate their recommendations pertaining to ability grouping in their classes for next year. ("Ability grouping" for this situation means the use of standardized test results as a basis of placement of students in class sections.) Two years ago the students were placed in classes on the following basis: Above Average Ability, Average Ability, and Below Average Ability. The following year students were not placed in classes on the basis of ability but were randomly placed into class sections. The principal is aware of some dissatisfaction with the grouping of students in English classes; thus, he or she is asking for the recommendation of the teachers involved.

Procedure. The participation group (group A) will meet in the center of the room for q period of twenty minutes to discuss the situation presented above. They realize that they must reach a decision before they meet with the principal. The rest of the members (group B) will observe group A's activity during their meeting. Following this twenty-minute period, group B will meet in the center of the room to discuss what they observed from group A's activity. (They will meet for approximately twenty minutes.) Group A will observe group B's evaluation. At the end of this period group A and group B will combine for a general reaction and/or summary of the two group meetings.

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