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Our company is 12 years old, launched on St Patrick’s Day in 2005. I was due a newsletter so these stories were written in the pub over 2 quiet pints of Guinness.

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Offending Mr. Finance Director
The Rocket Story
Star Trek

Offending Mr. Finance Director

Earlier this year we finetuned a niche course “Dealing with megalomaniacs”. We sent the new course out to a sample random group of 100 customers and potential customers.

The next week I received an email from a person who was fuming. Why had we sent the letter to his organisation? Did we know who he was? Did we not know he was the best Finance Director in the land etc etc. Now it was fairly obvious that this feller was a megalomaniac. I think he believed that someone in his organisation had dared us to send him a letter. In reality it was just chance. I’m trying to explain that it’s just another course that we developed but he’s having none of it. So then he pulls out pieces of legislation and he’s going to his lawyers etc. Then he jumps on the “I’m offended” and adds that I have no right to offend him. That was more or less the gist of the call.

Later I’m chatting to my brother-in-law and he tells me that I’m not allowed to “offend” anyone.  I said I didn’t. Apparently though that’s not the law -  if the feller thinks he’s been offended then I could be guilty.  It’s apparently called Section 18C if you want to Google it.

So I spent 2 weeks with a dark cloud hanging over my head. If we can’t send out left field course ideas then our business will suffer.  Less newsletters (imagine that)... disaster. Of course we don’t ever want to offend people and we certainly don’t single people out like Mr Finance Director accused us of. So then I caught up with a mate as I was feeling sorry for myself. He told me that I need to face my fears. So I decided I’d send a less offensive course to the same group

Now this is amusing.

Here’s the course that caused offence to Mr Finance Director;

“Dealing with Megalomaniacs” https://www.preftrain.com.au/uploads/course_files/template_megalomanicas_template_greenred.pdf

Here’s the next version of the exact same course that I sent him;

“Dealing with People who may or may not have their head up their own bottom” https://www.preftrain.com.au/uploads/course_files/head_up_the_bottom.pdf

So far I haven’t heard from Mr Finance Director...

The Rocket Story

I mentioned in the greeting that our company was 12 years old last Friday which was St Patricks day. I love St Patricks day.

Here’s a little bit about an Irish feller called Oscar Wilde.

An interesting feller was Oscar. Born in 1854 so his writing is about 150 years old. Quite an elitist and probably a bit of a snob. He ended up dying in France from an ear infection from memory. Anyway he’s lucky that piece of Section 18C legislation wasn’t around in his day as he’d certainly have gone to prison sooner. In contrast he would certainly not get a jail sentence today for the “offence” that sent him to die in jail.

The thing about Oscar’s writing is that it could have been written yesterday. Some of his quotes remind us that life hasn’t really changed that much after all. We still complain about “them over there”. We still whinge about a perceived injustice.  We still regret things that happened in the past.  There's still too much ego flying about.

Here are a few Oscar Wilde quotes:

“What a pity that youth is wasted on the young.”

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.”

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

“There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”

“The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.”

Now here’s your St Patricks Day treat. Put on the kettle, make yourself a tea and read Oscar’s fine story about the “Remarkable Rocket”. Just in case you don’t understand the context, in the beginning all the characters are rockets and things you’ve seen at a fireworks show.  Most have since been banned in Australia which is probably why you still see many people attached to their hands! The ole fireworks have blown off many  people’s hands as they pick up a rocket that hasn’t exploded TILL NOW – BOOM – there goes your hand. Now the kettle should be ready.

Here's a link to the “Remarkable Rocket” https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/wilde/oscar/happy/chapter5.html

See nothing has changed. We’re in a time warp of sameness.

Star Trek

We're heading for planet Zog. We're at Mach speed 7. There's no turning back. There's no reverse. We're in the gravitational pull of Zog. The gravity will pull our spaceship down to land. There's no option. 

All of a sudden a red light flickers on the dashboard. We can panic as the red lights flicker or we can accept the situation that we have no real control. The gravitational pull of Zog is omnipotent. Whatever is going to happen will happen. We are just passengers on the journey. 

I wish I didn't panic as often when a red light appears on my life's dashboard. It would be so much easier to just respond with "oh there's a red light flickering on, it's probably a dodgy globe that will cost a dollar to replace”. 

I reckon people worry a little bit more as they get more responsibilities. It's a pity as the worry part achieves nothing. We've been doing bucket loads of team resilience training lately. Maybe it's time to take some time out with your team. This course will help you put some of the worries back in the box, lock the box and throw away the key. There are a lot of psychological advances nowadays to help counter worry. Break free from having recurring negative thoughts.