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How Corporate Culture Mimics a Cage of Monkeys
2007-02-01, 2:08 p.m.

Day 893

Wednesdayís post is back a page. Never got it up till Thursday morning

A little something one of my brothers (sadly ineligible, Circe) sent me this morning:

1. Start with a cage containing five monkeys.
2. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb toward the banana.
3. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result all the monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
4. Now, turn off the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
5. Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.
6. Again, replace a third original monkey with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
7. After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys that have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs. Why not? Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been around here.
And that's how company policy begins .....

Sound familiar to anyone?

Last night was very cool. Cindy went to the gym, Zach & I cooked dinner. The actual name of the dish is Chupe de Pollo con Chipotle which in English translates to Chicken Chowder with Chipotle. Great stuff. I have some leftovers for lunch. Originally from Cooking Light magazine, the recipe is here. Towards the middle of the cooking process we use an immersion blender (boat motor) rather than running it through the blender in 3 batches. What ever works for you is just fine.

Anyhow. Five days, now going on six. No drinking. Tonight is a bit of a test though. Bowling night. Zach usually comes to watch, Jill is tied up with school, Cindy is left to her own devices. Iím hoping she elects to go to the gym, then comes home and cools down sensibly. But I wonít even suggest a course of action to her.

My challenge will be in keeping my thoughts on the task at hand Ė killing bowling pins. They owe be big time after last week. Very disturbing set. The scores? 181, 179, 180. How very boring. Nice grouping, but each game is about 20 pins too low. The alley has changed the oiling pattern, which has changed the preferred shot. Leaves very little room for error. Challenging? Yes, but oh so frustrating after bowling on the oil pattern theyíd been using the past 2 years. Everyone is down 10 Ė 15 pins average wise. Just gotta suck it up and get better. Or use more ďaiming fluidĒ. Need to watch the hypocrisy there too. Fine line to tread.

Oh. Another favorite Cooking light recipe? Black Bean & Sausage Chili Less than 400 calories a serving for a main dish. Sweet stuff. Add a salad and some nice bread and call it a meal.

Boy, did I ever have to stop at the store after work yesterday. That chicken chowder? Requires thawed chicken. And chipotles, cream, cilantro, chicken stock, hominy (corn). Just for fun, I got Ciabatta (bread) and Crispin apples. Seriously stuck on Cís. So I ended up not getting flowers. Because all they had that I liked were chrissan, crysant, crissent, MUMS and they donít start with C now, do they? (yes, I know Ė itís Chrysanthemum. I didnít win the 6th grade spelling bee for nothing folks.)

However, I received an excellent suggestion about how to handle the whole recognition/flowers/donít be patronizing/donít be a dick deal (thanks Maria!) If youíre really interested, itís in the comments of yesterdays missive. Iím not going to mention it here, just soís to not put a hex on it. I think itís a great suggestion. It solves all the issues I was sweating over AND offers appreciation of Cindy as a person/wife/friend, and not as someone celebrating 5 or 6 days of no drinking.

Best part is if I leave for bowling just a little early (who me? Leave early? Never!) I can stop by a grocery store that has an excellent selection of flowers from which to choose. And a little card. Weíll see how it goes.

Cindy might need a little extra buttering up too. Our PC at home is a dinosaur. 6 years old, and it was the ďbargain systemĒ at the time. From Pe0ple PC. Yeah. The monitor is going kaflooey, Iíve doubled the hard drive space and thatís still nearly full (12Gb, oh boy!), has a read only CD drive, and is slower than molasses.

This wonderful company I work for pays itís minions an annual bonus. Every year, without fail, except for one year during the depression. (yeah, weíve been around since the 1890ís) This is my last year to receive this bonus. So Iím thinking itís time to replace the aging hunk of computer in the family room with something a little more current. Did you know you can get a kickiní system from hulet pacerd (typos on purpose) for a very reasonable price? News to me. Iím in the negotiation phase with Cindy right now. If this goes through, I may owe her more than a few flowers. I may owe her more time off the computer. Isnít that ironic?

Oh well, time for negotiations to resume . . .

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