February 23, 2010
Moo Tube (part 1), ME Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 8
It’s been a while since the DOT posted a name, but there was another one this week:
Army Sergeant Dillon Foxx, Traverse City.
Between post-holiday regrouping and pre-tax season prepping, I have to admit I’ve been complacently ignoring some realities. I originally had the topic of contentedness on my agenda for this week. And, I’m going to see that through, with a little side trip.
The other day a friend told me of a television show she had watched about happy automated cows, and some interesting technological advances in the world of milking farms. Supposedly, cows on an automated farm are less stressed because they decide when they need milking, and wander into the milk house at their leisure. They are then auto-udder-washed and auto-udder-connected to milking cups. No people involved.
So, I went to research that, and instantly found a promising lead: Contented Cows Give Better Milk, by Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden. Sadly, I did not find what I wanted. Aimed at business management leadership, the book was officially subtitled, The Plain Truth About Employee Relations and Your Bottom Line. The title simply employed an unflattering metaphor.
Although catchy and somewhat amusing, I am still only slightly less insulted than when the management team of one company I’ve worked for sent out a questionnaire asking employees if they preferred to be recognized for outstanding work by: A. a paper certificate, B. a pin, or C. food
Yep, those were the only choices. Things like promotions, raises, cash awards were not included as options. You can probably imagine the angry herd-mentality unrest that little survey raised. Sort of the same buck-kick reaction we had when an upper manager once told me and some other coworkers – to our faces – that they believed “any monkey off the street” could do our jobs.
Perhaps Michigan's secondary motto should be “The Stoic State.” We stoically continue on about our lives despite ever-present dangers lurking. The potential loss of more jobs, more lives to be lost in war, more worries about family, education and financial security of any type.
Complacency could do a good job of helping us to ignore stress, especially here in Michigan. The problem is we are aware of the pitfalls around us, which technically makes us willingly contented.
In other words, most of us are stressed enough to convince ourselves that we are happy enough with what we have or are; wanting to hold on to it all at least a little while longer. But, really, what good does it do us to claim contentment but still be grasping? In that sense I am progressing toward content. No longer grasping, paring down, thinning out my belongings; I may in-fact be over-releasing. Yet, the more I release, the happier I am.
I’ll let you contemplate the implications of that for a few days.
And then we’ll pick up right here again next week.
In this issue: Complacency vs. Contentedness, Milk, Contented Cows, John Kenneth Gilbraith
Now posted: New Orleans, October 2009, Papering & Mom's Notes from Mayo: Going Home.
Posted by jaselin at February 23, 2010 12:43 PM