Thursday, September 27, 2012

Whatever happened to 'Cost-Benefit Analysis'?

Several weeks ago I quit my volunteer position at the hospital in my community.  I have no regrets other than missing the folks I spent time with each week.

When I told the volunteer coordinator I was quiting, she asked why.  Oh, there were so many reasons.  Where to start?

So, I told her that I was tired of hearing that the hospital food service was not making money and the employees all seemed to be unhappy.  What I didn't understand was why they had a Caribou Coffee not even 50 feet away from the cafeteria, selling beverages, pastries and sandwiches and thereby competing with the cafe.  I was told that was because the hospital was getting a cut of the profits. 

Well, not one to waste my MBA education, I asked why they didn't have a Little Caesar's pizza and maybe some food trucks outside.  Seems like they could clean up on those sales too.  (I know.  My sarcasm is showing.)

I pretty much left my statement at that, but did suggest they need to decide what their true mission is as a hospital.

Today I read an article about the new $1,000,000 greenhouse for growing fresh vegetables.  Cool. 

It all sounded like a great idea until they got to the end of the article where they said they would save $20,000 per year on food purchases.  You do the math.

What I want to know is if the same genius who is running food service numbers is also thinking that the greenhouse idea is a wise investment.

I've heard that the hospital is losing money and that patient numbers are down, but they are building more operating rooms.  Go figure that one out.

Why do I get the feeling that something is not quite right? 

And there in a nutshell are reasons I left my task.  It was all making me crazy.  And if I wanted crazy, I'd have kept working and getting paid for it.   Not volunteering.

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