Scorpions Aren't As Charismatic as You Might Think
Sometimes I like to sit down and look around me at all of the people that I surround myself with. I watch my family, my co-workers, my supervisors and even perfect strangers. I have come to notice that everyone’s behavior changes with whatever circumstances may be occurring in his or her life. Changes at home or changes in the workplace can bring about a shift in one’s behavior toward his or her co-worker.
I find it odd and a bit humorous that when some individuals are due for their bi-annual performance review, their work ethic suddenly changes for the better. This person is instantly doing his or her job at the peak of performance, but is also full of incorrect suggestive advice for their co-workers in an attempt to get them to do the wrong thing, thus making themselves look bad and him look good as he swoops in to correct the situation. It is clearly a transparent mechanism.
But all of this reminds me of a story that a friend recently reminded me of. We were discussing the characteristics of typical management personalities and how common these personalities are in our workplace. The story that he told was an analogy that seemed to illustrate the point exactly:
“There was a scorpion sitting on a river bank. He was trying to figure out a way to get across when along came a frog. He asked the frog to let him ride across the river on his back. The frog said “No way! You’ll end up stinging me!” After some talking and a little coercion, the frog relented and the scorpion climbed on. They made it across the river and as they climbed up on the other side, the scorpion stung the frog, condemning him to death. In his last breath the frog said “Why? I helped you!
The scorpion replied “I’m a scorpion. That’s what I do.” “
But when I was thinking of management, I was also thinking of the long (or short) road that they may have taken to achieve their illustrious position. I was also thinking of the chain of recent events that seem to illustrate the dynamics of fecal dynamics in relation to the pull of gravity and how it pertains to management in general. There always seems to be a hill involved and it seems that lately, I’m at the bottom of it, regardless of how many other co-workers are ahead of me on the slope.
So what is the secret of success for the typical management staff? It is knowing who to blame to keep the limelight off of their own foibles and feaux pas. It is knowing which frog to sweet talk so it can be convinced to carry him across the river, keep him safe and dry until it comes time to eliminate him because he is not needed anymore, or his performance has become weakened from other influences. The best thing the frog can do is to shake the scorpion off before he has the chance to sting and move on down the river, because he knows that someday the scorpion will meet his fate.
Here’s to your imminent retirement, Mr. Clarke. Please make it soon.