Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Tribe has Spoken

It's all about being the best. Isn't it? Case in point: how early are the stores opening on the day after thanksgiving? Does it seem to be getting earlier every year? It seems that way to me. It's almost like, "Hey! Our competitor is opening at 6:00 am! We need to open at 5:30!" Then next year, "Hey! They opened at 5:30 am, we need to open at 5:00!" At this rate, stores will be opening up early on the day after Christmas for the following Christmas.

But it isn't just opening up early. Last year, I was especially turned off by an ad from Best Buy where they had animated characters make a big deal how the store and support folks would be working Christmas. Why? So they can out do their competition. Never mind all those folks that would have to work instead of being home with their families.

That's why I applaud companies that stand up for what they believe in, no matter what the others are doing. Chick-Fil-A? Closed on Sundays. B&H photo and video store? Closed Friday at 2:00 pm and all day Saturday. Whether their beliefs are the same as mine doesn't matter. I'm just happy there are those in world that see that there are certain lines you don't cross.

Time for a confession: my wife and I love to watch the TV show Survivor. Yes, yes, there are some of you out there that might condemn us for such an action, but let me explain why I enjoy it so much. The show is really a microcosm of the world around us. The goal is to be the last man (or woman) standing at the end of the game. I won't go into all the details, but there are certain rules that need to be explained to prove my point.

First, there are about 18 or so people that start the game. One by one they are voted off by the rest of the players (their "tribe"). Now the tricky part comes about halfway through the game. Why? Well, the people voted off go onto something called the "jury". This jury of people will pick the final winner. In other words, the final contestants will be held accountable for their actions.

The motto of the game is "Outwit, Outlast, Outplay". The show has been on for something like 20 seasons (2 seasons per year) and all sorts of people have won. There was a recent contestant that got to play in back to back seasons. He was mean. He was a bully. He did things to cause conflict with his teammates. (Like burning socks, draining their water supply, telling lies to anyone who would listen) He did it to gain control.

In both cases he weaseled his way to the end. . . and lost. Why? Because he eventually was judged for his actions. Had it made it near the top? Yes. In the end, did he win? No. And to read interviews about him later, he kept saying how the game was stupid and that he should have won.

As I remember it, in Death of a Salesman, the main character becomes a salesman because he attended a funeral when he was young of a salesman and was amazed about how many people were there and how respected this man was. That's the kind of funeral he wanted. He was miserable though, and at in the end, very few attended his funeral.


Well, I would suggest you go to any graveyard and see how many gravestones say, "So and so worked and such and such a place for x amount of years."

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