The simple answer is…what you say is often not understood in the way it was intended. A funny story to highlight the perils of communication within an organization.
Memo from Director General to Manager:
Today at 11 o’clock there will be a total eclipse of the sun. This is when the sun disappears behind the moon for two minutes. As this is something that cannot be seen every day, time will be allowed for employees to view the eclipse in the car park. Staff should meet in the car park at ten to eleven, when I will deliver a short speech introducing the eclipse, and giving some background information. Safety goggles will be made available at a small cost.
Memo from Manager to Department Head:
Today at ten to eleven, all staff should meet in the car park. This will be followed by a total eclipse of the sun, which will disappear for two minutes. For a moderate cost, this will be made safe with goggles.
The Director General will deliver a short speech beforehand to give us all some background information. This is not something that can be seen every day.
Memo from Department Head to Floor Manager:
The Director General will today deliver a short speech to make the sun disappear for two minutes in the eclipse. This is something that can not be seen every day, so staff will meet in the car park at ten or eleven. This will be safe, if you pay a moderate cost.
Memo From Floor Manager to Supervisor:
Ten or eleven staff are to go to the car park, where the Director General will eclipse the sun for two minutes. This doesn’t happen every day. It will be safe, but it will cost you.
Memo from Supervisor to staff:
Some staff will go to the car park today to see the Director General disappear. It is a pity this doesn’t happen everyday.