A cautionary fairy tale - "Joe and the power of confused social status"
Joe and the power of confused social status
Joe accepts a job at a new office. He¹s pretty nervous because no one
told him exactly what his job would be.
When he arrives, everyone treats him like a celebrity! They are SO
anxious to make him comfortable. They give him his choice of offices,
make sure he is comfortable, and they give him extra bonus checks
just for sitting at his desk. Everyone seems to really like him and
they compliment him on his looks, and laugh at all his jokes. No one
ever tells him what to do and no one seems to expect anything from
him, so he doesn't really do anything but play Solitaire on his
computer, shop online, and chat with friends on the phone.
They even bring Joe tasty lunches every day and never ask to be
reimbursed. If he doesn¹t like what they bring, they offer him some
of their own lunches.
If Joe wants to leave early, he just says so and someone even rushes
off to open the door for him.
Joe is happy with this situation and feels very important. He figures
any day they will put a sign on his door that says `COMPANY
PRESIDENT'. He even has business cards made up with that title and
leaves one or two on everyone¹s work stations. No one says anything
because they love Joe so much and he is so handsome after all…
As the weeks go by, Joe begins to feel anxious…He realizes that he
really IS the Company President and he had better start paying
attention to details and making sure all the others in the office are
doing what he thinks they should be doing and when.
Joe begins to assume the role of `The Boss' but does so gradually and
the other workers don¹t really notice it, but the pressure of being
unprepared for management is giving him a daily headache that makes
One day, Mary sees Joe counting a fat wad of cash and asks Joe to pay
for his own lunch. Joe is taken aback and says in a loud, gruff
voice, `NO WAY! This is MY money! Go AWAY!'
Mary is shocked! Her feelings are so hurt. She tells the others in
the office, `Joe was rude to me! Haven't we all been so nice to him?
WHY would he do that?'
Upon hearing this, a large man named Rex stands up and says, `That is
just unacceptable. I am going to show him he can¹t be doing that!' So
he strides confidently into Joe's office, slaps him across the face
and snatches Joe¹s money out of his hand.
As he returns to the group, he says, `That will teach him not to be
Understandably, Joe is completely perplexed! HOW DARE THEY???? All
this time, they have done everything for me whenever I wanted and
never asked for anything in return and now one of them has attacked
me for NO REASON!
Joe comes rushing out of his office, confronts Rex and demands his
money back. Rex says `NO. Mary told me you were rude to her and this
is your punishment.'
Joe is beside himself! This just doesn¹t make sense! Rex must have
lost his mind and has become dangerous! Doesn¹t he remember that I am
Rex approaches Joe again and points a finger at him. Joe is still in
shock from being slapped and having his property stolen from right
under his nose and feels that this is the start of another attack!
Joe is not about to be pushed around by the guy that empties his
garbage and shines his shoes! So, Joe slams his fist into Rex's mid-
section and Rex falls to the floor in agony.
Everyone in the office runs to the conference room and locks the door
behind them. There is much lamenting of `OH MY! Joe has turned on us!
Joe is EVIL! We have to get him out of here!'
They call the Police and Joe is soon taken away in handcuffs,
claiming he was only acting in self defense. Everyone in the office
is in tears. They can't understand why all their hard work in getting
Joe to like them failed. Maybe Joe was just a bad guy from the start
and things will be different if they hire someone else….
If this story sounds ridiculous to you…and it SHOULD, consider the
way we treat our dogs…
Many Canines spend their lives wondering what their `job' is and
never really know. We give them everything for free and don¹t allow
them to feel pride in a job well done or the sense of security they
get from knowing their place in our pack . We have systematically
shown them from day one that we are their doormats that can be bossed
and manipulated into doing their bidding. Then we blame the dog when
it all goes wrong.
Most dogs are extremely BORED! They come up with behaviors to burn
the excess energy mother nature gave them to survive as a species
since they haven¹t had servants until the fairly recent history of
Most of the activities dogs come up with will be found unacceptable
to humans, like excessive barking, digging, escaping, destroying our
property by inappropriate urination/marking and/or chewing, showing
aggression toward humans or other animals, and even biting the hand
that feeds them.
For these transgressions, most dogs are physically punished in the
name of ³discipline², given away, abandoned, chained to a tree, or
even euthanized. It's sad, but many people feel that pets are
expendable and easily replaced.
The number one reason for owners relinquishing their pets to animal
shelters is ³Behavior Problems².
I wish just once the reason on the cage card at the pound would
read, `We let our dog down and we never taught him what was expected
Re: A cautionary fairy tale - "Joe and the power of confused social status"
Oh yeah...that was a great analogy. So very true. I agree with the sign that should be on the the cage. I will never understand people getting a dog and just shove it off in a corner somewhere, or worse. It makes absolutely no sense at all.
I look at Tal sometimes and think he would be so different with someone who was unwilling to give him a good life. And the more time I spend with him the more I see how he thrives with a routine...it makes him feel comfortable and more importantly secure. I wonder alot of times why is it some dogs get such a raw deal and others are loved and cared for. And the reason is they happened to get a crappy owner who at best has no clue how to deal with a dog. I cannot even think about worst case scenarios.
Sorry, but when I got Tal and see how alot of animals, not just dogs, are treated I can get on a soapbox really easily.