Tag Archive: Winnie the Pooh


Why, oh why do these things happen to me?” — Rabbit

Their cups are always half-empty.

halfempty

They don’t understand, Goldilocks. Never will anything be quite right.

When they were kids, their favorite Winnie the Pooh characters were either Eeyore or Rabbit, when once again he was lamenting his state of life.

They are known as “Gloomy Gus” or “Negative Nancy” in the workplace.

And please, o’ please … never put them in charge of managing people.

The reason? Whatever is accomplished is never good enough, and whatever subordinate shortcomings are exhibited become highlighted and immediately pounced upon.

These people are downers, the Human Barbiturates.

Human Barbiturates vs. Clinical Depression

The right-brain author of Almost DailyBrett thankfully will never be confused with a highly degreed-psychologist.

Based upon limited reading, it seems that clinical depression is characterized by episodes and inflicts a certain percentage of the population for a particular period of time. It can be and is treated. Hopefully, these people can return to healthy and happy lives.

Human Barbiturates are always in a down mood, regardless of the circumstances. If an organization is run like a business, they are unhappy. If the very same organization is governed by a labor friendly collective bargaining agreement, they are equally bummed out.

In fact, they are always bummed out. Nothing is right. Nothing will ever be right. If you don’t believe me, just ask them.

barbituates

Why is the presence of Human Barbiturates a matter of concern? Why should any blog focused on communications choreography even care about these homo-sapien downers?

The reason is these individuals can become a cancer within an organization, dragging anybody and everybody who comes into contact with them into the abyss.

No PR pro in her or his right mind would put these poor sods in a front-man role, serving as the point of entry for critical stakeholders. Naturally, they should be buried in any organization. That is not to say that they can’t still cause damage.

Let’s pretend you are running employee communications for a privately held or publicly traded corporation. Your job is to use conventional and digital tools to promote morale. Your job is just that much tougher if Gloomy Gus or Negative Nancy is undermining your story, and with it management, at the water cooler.

Don’t try to satisfy the Human Barbiturates because you can’t. These people really need a new start, but keep in mind they will spread their human Valium to another organization. At least they will be someone else’s problem.

Gloomy Gus or Negative Nancy As Your Boss?

“Never wait or hesitate Get in kid, before it’s too late You may never get another chance ‘Cos youth a mask but it don’t last live it long and live it fast” – Rod Stewart, The Killing of Georgie, Part I and II

You know instinctively that life is short. You want to live out your days and nights with as much gusto as you can.

Except you have a Human Barbiturate as a boss, or to be more precise, a bosshole.

bosshole

The Edelman Trust Barometer has consistently reported that “informed publics” around the globe are more willing to do business with companies that treat their employees with dignity and respect. It stands to reason that enlightened management would never turn over supervisorial decisions to Human Barbiturates.

Can employees ever satisfy those who will never be satisfied? You know the answer.

If Human Barbiturates always bitch, moan, whine and complain in the break room, texting and emailing, their behavior is compounded and magnified if they are selected for managerial positions.

Let’s just make the call here and now: Human Barbiturates should never be assigned to the management of people.

They should never be the face of any organization.

If hired, their talent must clearly outweigh their potential negative influence on an organization’s morale.

Otherwise, they are nothing more and nothing less than downers that become the subject of behind-the-back conversation, and maybe even ridicule.

When it comes to Human Barbiturates, it’s best for an organization to “Just Say, ‘No.'”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbiturate

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTYcu4CJbA8

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Story_of_the_Three_Bears

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/rodstewart/thekillingofgeorgiepartiandii.html

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/major-depression

http://www.edelman.com/insights/intellectual-property/2014-edelman-trust-barometer/

 

 

Making Change Your Friend

“For a lot of people, ‘What if I do nothing?’ is a no-brainer … Do you think you can go sideways and hum along? There is no sideways in life. Life applies friction.” – Entrepreneur and motivator Jonathan Fields delivering a TEDx Talk.

The mileage as the crow flies between Eugene, Oregon and Ellensburg, Washington is 330 miles, give or take a feather or two.

Both are Pacific Northwest college towns (University of Oregon and Central Washington University respectively).

marboro1

 

Mother Nature  lavishes rain on Eugene’s seemingly endless groves of Douglas fir trees and an evergreen landscape. Ellensburg is high desert and reminds one of “Marlboro Country” with its wide spaces, grazing bovine and of course, the county rodeo. That is no Extreme Bull.

Yes, this will indeed be my first rodeo.

As they say, “All good things must end.” Eras come to a close, while others are just beginning. New adventures are on the horizon.

For the author of Almost DailyBrett, there was a LaLaLand era, a Sacramento tenure, a Portland time, a Silicon Valley marathon, a lengthy stop in Eugene and soon it will be a new beginning in Ellensburg.

Many have literally spanned the globe in their life changes. Alas, for me it has been the three continental states that touch the Pacific, but nonetheless it has been a wild-at-times roller-coaster ride.

But for many, even modest change is something to be feared and dreaded. And yet these timid souls try to go sideways, even though that is really not an option.

Same Bed, Same TV, Same Beard, Same Pension and No License to Drive

“Don’t tell me it can’t be done. Show me how it can.” – Plaque in the office of former House Speaker Jim Wright

We all know them.

They always have an excuse. They are always ready with a rationalization. They always have something, anything wrong that will never, ever get better.

eeyore1

Sometimes they can’t get out of their own way. They prefer living at home, sleeping in the same bed and watching the same 21” standard-definition television set with the rabbit-ear antennas (slight exaggeration). Someone will not cut his beard or hair. Someone artistically gifted will not start his own business because he or she is locked into public sector golden handcuffs (e.g., public sector pension). And someone will not learn how to drive and therefore will not be able to compete for a better job and improve her or his life and the lives of impacted offspring.

Another year of “muddling through?” Are Food Stamps and disability payments far off? Is life reduced to running out the clock to the final inevitable day? Pass another PBR.

How many people do you know that are overworked, underpaid, under-appreciated, underutilized and under the gravitational pull of a bosshole? How many more are in a bad relationship, and they know they are in a bad relationship, but for some reason will not throw off their chains?

For far too many these desultory scenarios are exactly the case. But Jonathan Fields correctly points out that there is no sideways in life. Life applies “friction” in many ways … and some of the nastiest scrapes can be sudden and unpleasant.

Sometimes Change Cannot Be Controlled, But It Can Be Managed

Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs,”  — Michael Rowe, Host of “Dirty Jobs.”

Even for the successful, the achievers, the Type A personalities caca does indeed happen. A close family member may die. A hereditary disease may strike. You may simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Your organization may be acquired. You may come under the influence of a bosshole. The economy may go south. The list goes on-and-on-and-on.

Everyone wants to decide when she or he comes and goes, but many times that is not an option.

We cannot pretend change is not going to happen, but we need to accept that it will … and not always in a nice way.

As mentioned before in Almost DailyBrett, we need to manage or be managed. So how can we manage change?

Acceptance Mode. No more anger. No more denial. No more bargaining. No more depression. Let’s skip all of the above and get to acceptance. What is your plan for the future? What comes next? You know there will be a “next.”

Look to the Future. The past is gone. The present will soon be gone. What have you done? Where do you want to go? What do you need to do to reach this goal? Life is too frickin’ short. How can you improve your chances of success? Manage your future.

Change of Venue? Sometimes there are better opportunities over the horizon, in another town, in another state or maybe another country. Are you limiting your options because you will not even for a nanosecond consider a change of personal venue?

Don’t Hate, Celebrate. Don’t hold grudges. Instead of being jealous of achievers and wishing them Schadenfreude, learn from their successes. If a rising tide lifts all boats, how can your dingy become a yacht? There is a way.

tigger

Be positive. Growing up, Tigger was always more appealing than Eeyore. Show Speaker Wright and others exactly how it can be done. Be rational, but instead of merely defining the problem, what is the solution? How can your life and the lives of your loved ones change for the better

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize. There is always something new to learn. The reason for the unprecedented success of Silicon Valley is lifelong learning. Engineers (e.g., Tesla’s Elon Musk) are not afraid to fail. They are always trying to solve the latest and greatest puzzle before moving on to the next one. What will you learn today?

Every Stranger is a Friend You Have Not Met. There will be new people. There will be new experiences. Some will be better. Some will not. As the Realtors always say, “There will be tradeoffs.” Make change your friend. And yes, you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just may find, you get what you need.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkFRwhJEOos

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Wright

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/prostate-cancer-a-piece-of-cake-compared-to-valley-fever/

http://books.google.com/books?id=OGoXa1Au0n8C&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=Speaker+Jim+Wright:+Don%27t+come+in+and+tell+me+how+you+can%27t;+tell+me+how+you+can&source

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model

http://toprightnews.com/?p=2872

 

 

 

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