Friday, November 16, 2012

Stay in Balance

Every year as Thanksgiving approaches, I recall the "Allan incident."

Allan was someone I worked with more than twenty years ago.  He was the ultimate miser, the one for whom the "gluing a coin to the floor" practical joke was intended.  Allan would pry the coin off the floor. He would run out of gas going out of his way to find the cheapest gas station.

I didn't actually work with him, though.  He and I worked for the same small company, and he was in a different department.  At the time of the incident, the company was growing and starting to prosper.  One November it wanted to reward us for the hard work we did in earlier years when we were working overtime without pay and sometimes dealing with bounced paychecks.  So the company bought and distributed frozen turkeys to all of us.

It was a nice gesture, and even though I was vegetarian at the time, I accepted it and gave it to my brother and sister-in-law.  Allan, on the other hand, was indignant and refused the turkey because it wasn't kosher.  To mollify him, the company gave him $15 in exchange for the turkey.

John the machinist heard about this, and he knew how cheap Allan was.  So he decided to have some fun at his expense.

"Hey Allan," John called.  "I heard you don't want your turkey.  I'll give you twenty bucks for it."

Allan's eyes lit up at the thought of making a profit on the formerly disagreeable turkey.  I didn't witness the outcome, but I heard he tried to buy back his turkey in order to flip it to gain $5.

This is a true story even if the main character is larger than life.  And there are distasteful aspects of humanity demonstrated here: Allan's ingratitude and greed.  And John was reprehensible too, although perhaps he thought he would teach Allan a lesson.  It's certainly not a nice story for the season.  But hopefully at least one Allan-like person might read this and be motivated to improve.  After all, John easily manipulated Allan, pushed him off balance.

Do all of us, in fact, have a little bit of Allan inside?  Maybe it's not money that motivates us.  Maybe it's food, fame, love (or sex), or an overwhelming need to help someone.  Whatever it is, know that the Johns of the world can use it to push us off balance.

Stay in Balance


Judy said...

Sounds a bit like "The Office" - ha. Fun story.

Square Peg Guy said...

Thanks for commenting!