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what would you write for this essay topic ?

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Intern
Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 22

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what would you write for this essay topic ? [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2012, 04:38
The following appeared in a memorandum to the work-group supervisors of the GBS Company:
“The CoffeeCart beverage and food service located in the lobby of our main office building is not earning enough in sales to cover its costs, and so the cart may discontinue operating at GBS. Given the low staff morale, as evidenced by the increase in the number of employees leaving the company, the loss of this service could present a problem, especially since the staff morale questionnaire showed widespread dissatisfaction with the snack machines. Therefore, supervisors should remind the employees in their group to patronize the cart-after all, it was leased for their convenience so that they would not have to walk over to the cafeteria on breaks.”

This one is really baffling.

why does the author believe that the loss of the coffeecart will cause more problems ?

Is the coffeecart the snack machine ? Does the coffecart increase or decrease workers morale ?

the loss of this service could present a problem, especially since the staff morale questionnaire showed widespread dissatisfaction with the snack machines.

if the employees are not satisfied with the coffeecart, then why would the loss of the service cause problems ?

And what is the importance of the last sentence ?

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Manager
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 69

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Schools: IE '15 (A)
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V46
Re: what would you write for this essay topic ? [#permalink]

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03 Jan 2013, 16:27
Is this an official essay topic. Doesnt look like official from the language used.

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Manager
Joined: 12 Jan 2013
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Location: United States (NY)
GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V47
GPA: 3.89
Re: what would you write for this essay topic ? [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2013, 15:52
Quote:
why does the author believe that the loss of the coffeecart will cause more problems ?

It is nice to be able to grab a coffee without leaving the building. I worked for a bank in NYC for two years. In the morning some people there would take off their coat, put their bag or suitcase at their workplace, and then go to the cafeteria on the same floor to grab a coffee and perhaps some toasted bagels with a syrup. It is their morning routine, their fun way to start a day. If the cafeteria were to disappear or to stop providing coffee, many employees would be unhappy.

Quote:
Is the coffeecart the snack machine ? Does the coffecart increase or decrease workers morale ?

The coffee cart may increase the workers morale if they like it. Some workers are indifferent.
No, the coffee cart is not the same as a snack machine. The snack machines are already unsatisfactory, as perceived by the employees, but the coffee cart may be serving decent coffee and perhaps donuts. It may sound silly, but for many employees such little things matter, for whatever reason (it is your task to analyze the reasons).

Quote:
the loss of this service could present a problem, especially since the staff morale questionnaire showed widespread dissatisfaction with the snack machines.
if the employees are not satisfied with the coffeecart, then why would the loss of the service cause problems ?

No, they are dissatisfied with the snack machines, not necessarily with the coffee cart. Snack machines contain chocolate, drinks, etc. You insert dollars - you get the product. A coffee cart probably has a person selling coffee and donuts.

Quote:
And what is the importance of the last sentence ?

The last sentence suggests that the employees have an ethical responsibility to patronize the coffee cart since it was leased to help them. Perhaps, the cafeteria is 10 minutes away and the coffee cart is only 1 minute away. Thus, the company helped the employee by introducing a coffee cart so he or she can save 9 minutes every break (in fact, 18), and now expects that the employee will appreciate it and will accordingly patronize the coffee cart.

This question is nonstandard but nonetheless quite interesting. It also demonstrates how difficult it is to create questions that are unambiguously understood by all kinds of people from many different countries.
_________________

Sergey Orshanskiy, Ph.D.
I tutor in NYC: http://www.wyzant.com/Tutors/NY/New-York/7948121/#ref=1RKFOZ

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Intern
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Re: what would you write for this essay topic ? [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2013, 04:47
Hi,

I would challenge the assumption that the employees would be upset if the coffee cart were to be discontinued, as it ignores substantial differences between the coffee cart and snack machine and assumes that the coffee cart is actually popular/well-frequented by employees. If the latter were in fact the case, why wouldn't sales cover the costs of maintaining it? Further information is needed to determine how many employees actually would be affected and/or disgruntled. Also, there may be a better way to address the problem with low employee morale rather than continuing to cover the costs of a not necessarily well-received employee perk.
_________________

Susan Feldman, Ph.D.
GMAT AWA & Verbal Tutor
Peak Performance Test Prep

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Intern
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Re: what would you write for this essay topic ? [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2017, 14:35
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The memorandum to the work-group supervisors of the GBS Company recommends that supervisors remind their respective groups to patronize the CoffeeCart beverage and food service. The recommendation is supported by the fact that the earning of the cart is not enough to cover its costs, hence, the cart may discontinue operating at GBS. In addition, it is assumed that the closing of the cart will be problematic as employee morale is already low. The memo also states that the questionnaire showed widespread dissatisfaction with the snack machines. The argument is based on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is unconvincing and has several flaws.

First, the argument readily assumes that the loss of the cart will be problematic. However, there is no further information presented to support this assumption. It is as likely that the opposite is true. Since the employees are not satisfied with the service or food options available at the Cart, they choose not to purchase food from it. If the Cart closes, it is possible that the new vendor may provide better service to the employees thereby increasing employee morale.

Second, the memo suggests that supervisors remind their respective groups to patronize the Cart so that the sales are increased. The underlying assumption is that if employees are asked to buy food from the Cart, it help increase the sales. Even if this strategy works in the short term and helps increase the sales temporarily, it is highly doubtful that the sales will sustain for a long-term if there are other factors affecting the sales. It is possible that the food options or service provided at the Cart is not good leading to fewer sales. Instead of asking employees to patronize the Cart, it would be more helpful to look into the factors affecting low sales, such as lack of quick service, limited food options etc.

In conclusion, without further information, the memo is not very convincing. The author must provide additional information and further evidence to support the reasoning and various assumptions of the argument.

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Re: what would you write for this essay topic ?   [#permalink] 27 Jun 2017, 14:35
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