The Group: Alice Birney Elementary PTA, Sacramento, Calif.

The Setting: The newly established school garden, where PTA Vice President Laurie MacIntosh, President Cindy Kazee, and parent Jim Crittenden and his work crew are waiting to accept delivery of concrete tables and benches.

The Idea: Coordinate delivery of the tables and benches, which required four able-bodied workers, and everybody’s scheduling constraints. In a stroke of luck, the driver arrives minutes before the delivery window closes.

What Went Wrong: The school’s plant manager was also expecting a delivery that day. As the truck backed up to the garden area, Kazee assured him that this one was for the garden; the vice president had spoken with the driver and received a bill of lading.

What Happened Next: After backing into the garden area, the driver flung the doors open, unleashing a pile of wood chips meant for the school’s playground. “You should have seen the look on the vice president’s face!” Kazee remembers.

The Outcome: The driver quickly closed the doors and moved his rig while the errant pile was swept up; the tables came two hours later.

Notable Quote: “Wouldn’t it be funny if this was the mulch delivery?” Kazee said to the plant manager just before the truck doors opened.

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