Friday Fable: Aesop’s “The Camel and Jupiter” (or how the camel lost his lush, furry ears).

Posted by jlubans on January 31, 2014

Caption: Jupiter giving the Camel an earful.

“THE CAMEL, when he saw the Bull adorned with horns, envied him and wished that he himself could obtain the same honors. He went to Jupiter, and besought him to give him horns. Jupiter, vexed at his request because he was not satisfied with his size and strength of body, and desired yet more, not only refused to give him horns, but even deprived him of a portion of his ears.”

Which reminds me of a “whining” department head in my career. It seemed that regardless of my listening and responding as best I could within a limited budget, this department head was never satisfied. She used her negativity like a bludgeon; an inevitable first salvo in a well rehearsed tale of unfair treatment, past and present. I envied a colleague of mine for his Zeus-like memory. When a “constant complainer” started his litany of wrongs, my colleague responded that only a few months ago a requested piece of equipment had been approved and delivered and that a year ago, an extra position had been added and that two years ago the office area had been remodeled, etc. I’d done similar things – even more - but they just were not that important in my relationships; I did not carry around a mental list, like Santa, of who had gotten what and when. After several years our relationship soured and she left. Interestingly enough, when I made this into a case study in my problem employee workshop, the participants tended to blame me, the supervisor, as much as they did the whiner. Would I handle it differently? Probably. Still, Jupiter’s solution has considerable appeal!

*Source: AESOP'S FABLES By Aesop Translated by George Fyler Townsend (probably from this edition): “Three hundred and fifty Aesop's fables”. Chicago, Belford, Clarke & Co., 1886.
Available at Gutenberg.

Friday’s Leading from the Middle Library: Singapore Management University

Copyright John Lubans 2014)
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