Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Motivation and Inspiration!

Various things are occurring where I work, which means that a.) we meet for explanatory pep talks, b.) we receive motivational speeches and c.) we hear inspirational anecdotes.

Someone assured us that "we all need to get on the bus to make it work!" (only he made a Freudian slip and said "worse" instead of "work"). Of course everyone is now going around saying things like "yeah! we make it worse!" and "gosh, I hope I don't get run over by the bus" and "what if we try to hang on to the bus, but we get dragged under?" and "you been hit by the bus yet?"

We've been told inspirational anecdotes about moving our cheese, donkeys falling into wells to be rescued by farmers, and prodigal sons holding bundles of sticks and things. We've also learned that geese fly in formation only because they are supported by the wind made by other geese, which obviously means that geese fart a lot.

My favorite one has been the motivational and mathematically creative story about the three blind men who argue about fondling an elephant; one grabs an ear, another grabs a leg, another grabs the tusk, another grabs the tail... Surreptitious giggles around the room indicated that everyone was trying very hard not to think of what might be grabbed next.

*** An Inspirational and Motivational Fable ***
(brought to you by the letter L)

Once upon a time, there was a wee grey mouse, a cheerful tabby cat and a rather large can of baked beans.

The wee grey mouse, whose name was Richard, worked industriously to correctly process all forms and documents that daily came across his desk. He read his Employee Handbook, took night classes, never missed a meeting, always went the extra mile, dotted all his i's and crossed all his t's. Richard never took a sick day.

The tabby cat, whose name was Wilma, was cheerful but slightly lazy. She barely finished coding her programs in a timely manner, neglected to pursue additional professional training and occasionally arrived late for meetings. Wilma always procrastinated.

The rather large can of baked beans, whose name was Frederick, was an unethical liar. He stole office supplies, arrived at work with a hangover, backstabbed, cut corners, smoked crack and generally made a nuisance of himself. Frederick always took three hour lunches with extra martinis to go.

After years of hard work and self-improvement, Richard the wee gray mouse won "Employee of the Year", was promoted to middle management and later retired to Topeka, Kansas.

Wilma the cheerful but lazy tabby never made it to a management position, but was always considered a well-liked employee. She received a very tasteful 40 Years plaque when she retired.

Frederick, the rather large can of baked beans, was notorious for insubordination, immorality and gross incompetence -- so he was promoted to upper management and given stock options worth thirty five million dollars. After retiring at the age of 35, he took a glamorous trip around the world and bought a fabulous mansion in Barbados, where he now lives with a bevy of blonde flight attendants and a former Miss Universe from Brazil.

*** The End ***

Let this be a lesson to us all.


Blogger theomorph said...

Wow. I am so motivated. And really inspired.

Just in the nick of time, too.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Jim Bliss said...

Do you realise that the "Freudian slip" was very possibly nothing of the sort? It's a technique often used as part of 'the script' on these kinds of motivational philosophies; there to provide you with a source of in-jokes. This greater integrates the "motivational" and "inspirational" ideas into your lives, as they get transmitted by your colleagues in the form of humour. You still take in the idea at the core of the joke, but you don't apply the same judgmental filters as you would if the idea were coming directly from "management".

This is compounded by the secondary function of the scripted Freudian slip; to foster an enhanced sense of unity between those being "motivated". An 'us-and-them' attitude which revolves around harmless in-jokes is a useful thing for management to foster.

(I knew a psychology professor who wrote "test scripts" for some pretty far-out clients. He could get you pretty paranoid when he discussed some of the techniques that get used).

10:30 PM  
Blogger Rhodent said...

Why did the mouse have to be the one who is so uptight?

10:47 PM  
Blogger Larry Jones said...

A lovely story, although the part about Frederick winning the lottery is a bit far out. More likely he'd become the CEO, second in power and salary only to the Chairman of the Board, his father.

3:37 AM  
Blogger Frally said...

My god, did that give me flashbacks to my life when I was in paid employment. I feel very lucky that I'm now in the position to stay at home and live off my husbands paycheck. It takes NO motivation whatsoever and I'm completely successful at it.
However, your motivational story did inspire me to eat baked beans for dinner, which will no doubt inspire me to fart.

5:43 AM  
Blogger L said...

Mr. Bliss: that is SO sneaky! I feel like a test subject now.... that's how paranoid I am!

Larry: You're right! I will rectify immediately!

hmmm... I just noticed that the word "fart" was used again. My blog seems to be full of farts. And pigs.

11:14 PM  

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