Babrius’ THE MOUSE AND THE BULL*

Posted by jlubans on April 06, 2021

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Caption: The Mouse (in a hole in the Wall) taunts the bull

A BULL was bitten by a Mouse, and, pained by the wound, tried to capture him.
The Mouse first reached his hole in safety, and the Bull dug into the walls with his horns, until wearied, crouching down, he slept by the hole.
The Mouse peeping out, crept furtively up his flank, and, again biting him, retreated to his hole. The Bull rising up, and not knowing what to do, was sadly perplexed.
The Mouse murmured forth, "The great do not always prevail.
There are times when the small and lowly are the strongest to do mischief."
__________
Here the wee mousie puts one over on Ferdinand the Bull.
How does this apply to the workplace?
With just a little imagination - and my magic wand - I can relate that sanctuary Wall to a few experiences I have had with HR.
Ever seeking to avoid law suits and an organization’s embarrassment, HR sometimes produces rules and regs that stymie administrators from moving out or even disciplining ineffective people.
Like the mouse, these folks quickly learn they are safe in the HR constructed wall and that only self-sabotage or a cash payment will un-lodge them.
Yes, yes, I know HRs intentions are noble and well-intended and meant to protect employees from capricious administrators (like me).
Alas, sometimes those layers of protection backfire and result in no action taken to remedy poor performance.
Talk about a staff morale buster!
Another example is apparent in how the “mice” can hobble a basic American constitutional right - the freedom of speech (and the intellectual freedom to think for myself).
Take a look at the controversy surrounding Andy Ngo's book, “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy”.
The rightly famous Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon had to promise the blockading antifa “mice” and the store’s censoring union employees they would only sell the book online and not display or promote it in their retail bookstores.
A fairly objective report can be found in Reason magazine.

*Source: Babrius, Fable 112 in Cooper, Frederic Taber, editor (1864-1937), “An argosy of fables; a representative selection from the fable literature of every age and land”. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company. 1921.

© Copyright all text John Lubans 2021

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