Flashback: “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John

A #7 hit on the Billboard charts for Elton John from 1973. Great album to listen to even in the here and now.

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Would You Buy A Used Car From Me?

photography of red car on road

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I thought I’d regale you, my audience, with another one from the “jobs I could have had” file.

When I lived in Marietta, Georgia in 1996, I responded to an ad looking for people to sell used cars. So, on a cool day in the spring – I want to say it was either March or April, I filled in an application.

Something was amiss because an hour goes by before I hear from anybody. A gentleman comes up to greet me, but he’s not in a happy mood. “The owner won’t be seeing you unless you dress professionally,” I’m told.

Well, there was only one problem with this: there was no mention of a professional dress requirement in the ad. I’ve always been a person that goes by mentioned rules – in other words, if a rule is mentioned, you go by it. Otherwise, it generally does not exist. On top of which, I wasn’t looking like a bum either. I had slacks on, a collared shirt, no tie.

When I mentioned what I had felt was a breach of rules etiquette – the response I got was the dress code was “common sense” thus there was no need to mention it.

I began to lose my temper just a touch.

I said, “So what you’re saying it’s common sense to play games with potential employees and make them submit to rules they have no conclusive proof might exist?”

The guy walked away from me after I said that. And with that, I never stepped on that car lot again, nor had the desire to be a car salesman ever again.

A Problem In The Workplace

man wearing suit jacket sitting on chair in front of woman wearing eyeglasses

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Imagine being in a workplace where a constant problem has existed for decades. It hasn’t always been the top problem, so the employees in “the workplace” tend to ignore it. Every so often, the problem comes to the front of everybody’s minds – but something always seems to come along to prevent the problem from being solved.

“The Workplace” recently hired a new executive officer – it was not to CEO the employees, who had a say in the matter, were anticipating getting. The CEO has a long-term vision to solve the constant and long-persisting problem once and for all, but his “Board of Directors” kept cutting off the ability for the CEO to implement changes every chance the Board got, ensuring the problem would persist on some level for the immediate future.

Recently, there has been a movement by key employees to eradicate the “big problem” that has existed for many years. Many of the people who are suddenly complaining the loudest were the very same employees who didn’t want the problem fixed, or looked the other way at one key point or another. They’re now screaming at the CEO to fix the problem that could have been fixed many ways by many different avenues by many different people and work committees.

The CEO tries to explain. The explanations fall on deaf ears. The CEO and those loyal to him try to explain that this was a problem that could have been fixed by now for sure, had one of the many opportunities to fix it actually been followed through upon. Former employees weigh in and say the problem needs to be fixed now.

Frustrated, the CEO agrees and sympathizes with the employees – but tries to explain to them that the workplace has a chain of command that he would prefer to be followed. He had already tried to implement changes at the executive level but was turned away with every chance “The Board” had. With that happening repeatedly in previous months, the CEO fears going down that road again – he feels it would produce the same result as beforehand.

Instead of fixing the problem with at least one opportunity of many the workplace had – the problem “The Workplace” has is allowed to flourish, and instead of fixing it, all people seem to want to do is complain about it.

Somehow, this all sounds familiar.

The Prisoner

It’s one of those TV shows you have to pay attention to comprehend, or so I felt. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been watching the original version of The Prisoner on YouTube

The delight of the show is its overwhelming simplicity – no clear facts, but a buffet of ambiguity. The main character and his colleagues (or enemies) have no names, but numbers. Number Two, a character who changes each episode, is the administrator of sorts. His (or her) role is to get the main character (Number Six, played by Patrick McGoohan) to answer why he left his post as an employee of his government.

Because everyone has numbers and not names, it makes things increasingly unclear who serves the interests of Number Two, and who has common ground with Number Six. If Six thinks he has the upper hand, Number Two has a weapon at his disposal: Rover, a balloon shaped alien who can incapacitate or kill as needed.

It was fun to watch – certainly an interesting allegorical show that holds up well even in 2018.