The Friday Funny: Verbal and other contracts in evaluation

We’ve been both working on and researching about contracting in evaluation – serious issues about clarity in Terms of Reference, problems in terms of payment, and disagreements about whether ToRs should include an indicative budget.

So this joke seemed particularly apt as a metaphor for the formal and informal agreements that underpin any evaluation – and how misunderstandings can arise or be created.

An evaluator sits at a bar.

‘What’ll you have?’ asks the bartender.

‘A Scotch, please,’ replies the evaluator.

The bartender pours out the drink, passes it over, and says, ‘That’ll be five dollars.’

The evaluator replies, ‘What are you talking about? I don’t owe you anything for this.’

A lawyer, sitting nearby says to the bartender, ‘That’s right. In the original offer, which constitutes a binding contract upon acceptance, there was no stipulation of remuneration.’

The bartender is not impressed and tells the evaluator to finish the drink and get out.

The next day the evaluator returns. ‘What the hell are you doing back?’ says the barman. ‘I can’t believe you’ve got the nerve to show your face here!’

The evaluator replies, ‘What are you talking about? I’ve never been in this place in my life!’

‘I’m very sorry,’ says the barman. ‘But the resemblance is uncanny. You must have a double.’

So the evaluator says, ‘Thanks. Make it a Scotch.’

[somewhat adapted from]


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