Wednesday, June 30 – Wow, it really works!


Life can’t be just work, and brain needs some time out too. Here in Bologna, it feels a bit like “we work hard, so we party hard,” and on Wednesday afternoon, a bunch of us set off to play some soccer, despite the hellish heat and uncompromising sun above the field.

The game was great, although my team lost both matches. All worn out and sweaty (except for girls, who don’t sweat, but glow) we chipped in for the rent and most people headed back, desperate for shower. But the few of us who went to pay were confronted with an unpleasant surprise: the lady behind the counter asked for twice as much as we’d expected. Apparently, there was a misunderstanding and the price quoted by the hotel reception was only for one of the soccer fields, not for both of them. We had no more money on us, and so on the very day that we completed our negotiation training, some real-life bargaining started.

IMG_7235 While Michael was trying to make the lady understand that we had been given wrong information and therefore had made wrong decisions about how long we wanted to play for, the rest of us were throwing lame jokes about X-strategy and Y-strategy and playing red or blue and making the pie bigger. I reckoned that this was a classic example of a situation where there was nothing to add into the pie: the lady wanted all her money, we only had half of it, period.

But then Donatello suggested we promise her to come back three times and pay the full price, and I thought: “Wow, it really works. There’s always a way to make the pie bigger… and I just couldn’t see it.” No matter it didn’t work that way (we just paid what we thought we’d pay and that was it). It was great to see that the theories we lived in for the past three days could actually apply in the real world.

And Mike, thanks heaps for organizing the thing—it really was great.

Jaroslav Petrik, Czech Republic