Not so Fortunate

November 6, 2008

Hmm, so yesterday I experimented with something new in one of our fortnightly retrospectives. It didn’t quite work out as hoped.

The idea was that by using fortune cookies you could draw similarities between your experience of the iteration, and by generating them draw out suggestions and advice for the coming one.  It would have the benefit of being a bit of fun, something to get people talking and sharing.

(Photo by dougie)

(Photo by dougie)

Sadly, it seems that the quality of fortune cookies in Brighton is slightly different than I would have preferred.  While the more traditional ‘Confucius says’ style may have worked (for all the clichés would have generated humour), I had not counted on the slightly modernised ones that I purchased.

They ranged from the bizarre, to the slightly insulting, and then on to the strongly suggestive and slightly risqué.  Certainly not suitable topics for group discussion, although the humour involved almost made up for it.

Intriguingly, the ‘not so business-like’ style of discussion that this method engendered was really noticeable for strongly persisting during the following group lunch.  I hadn’t previously considered this effect, and this has certainly given me some really intriguing threads of thought to follow.

Advice: Check your expectations before you hand out fortune cookies.

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* My sample two fortunes said “The colour blue will be lucky for you” (semi-appropriate for me, but not so useful for reflection) and “You are not a complete idiot, some parts of you are missing” (which was just charming really).