Now for Your Grrrs...

A Faculty Member in Vermont: The idea that mediocrity is acceptable is an appalling view to me. I am currently an academic research scientist. A few years ago, during my postdoctoral research, one of the graduate students told me that he will never aspire to be anything but average. The reason? If you excel, you are asked to do more work, and why should he/she be the one who has to work harder than anyone else? When I asked about pride in one's work, the response was that "it was all about the money, really." This individual is now working for one of our larger drug companies. I don't find that reassuring.

Chris E. writes: I'm a headhunter for corporate America and I see mediocrity daily! Integrity is severely lacking out there. The successful who are also good people managers ARE too busy picking up the rest of their team's slack. They are successful because they really care ... about people and the businesses they run.

Terry in Stepford writes: Your article today about overachievers is really cynical. Perhaps you are angry at something, but I disagree. I'm on a small city board, and the mayor and the rest of the board members have always volunteered our time, and never done anything illegal, and the local newspapers have recognized us for that. Our mayor isn't incompetent. I work in a company where almost everyone tries to be cooperative and work for the goals of the company. People don't step on each other, and the best people get promoted. It is a big company and you would easily recognize the name. So I don't think you can put everyone into that bag accurately. I'm not sure what you were trying to say or prove.

Karen clipping coupons: My Grrr! is those coupons that come with the Sunday newspaper. The advertisers try to make you think you're saving money by using them, but it's just a ploy to get you to buy more than you really need. "Save $1 on 4" ... I don't want to buy four boxes of cereal at once!

Harry M in the 757 area code: "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." A quote from your recent GRRR!!! Satchmo once said, " God helps the poor, not the poor and lazy." Also, your previous Grrr!! on the Brokeback Rewrite about you was hysterical. Great satire....oh wait no, you were serious...never mind :)

Mary, even more jaded than me: Money breeds stupid and stupid says "yes" to stupids who in turn have money to breed other stupids. It's really very simple.

Computerbob.com writes: Thanks for writing "Grrr! Failing Up." It's exactly what I needed to read today.

Dave in Cyberspace writes: You hit it on the head. I was almost too busy to send this e-mail.

Amanda writes: Mike, I am in a dead end job. I work full time and go to school part time. There are times that I just feel like giving up. Reading your article gave me a second wind to keep going. Thanks for writing just what I needed to hear.

Jeremy S writes: Grrr! to the Oscars. When releasing their nominations, they seem to forget about the majority of America. It Grrrs me that none of the “Best Picture” nominees were in the top-ten grossing movies for the year. The Chronicles of Narnia earned over five times the cash at the box office as any of the “Best Pictures” and still was left out of consideration in the major categories. It was only the number three grossing movie of the year. I suppose they would say it is not in the right category to be Oscar-worthy. They are right, movies like "Star Wars," "Harry Potter" and "Narnia" (the top three of 2005) are in a much better category: movies people actually want to see. As for "Brokeback Mountain" -- everyone I know who has spent money to see this film has wanted a refund at the end, yet it gets eight nominations. How does that work? Grrr!

Kathleen cringing on the plane: I know everyone writes in with Grrs! about airplanes, but I think I have a new one. Last week I sat next to a man who proceeded to scratch his bare arms throughout the flight and dust his “flakes” in my direction. I have never been so grossed out or wanted a shower so badly as when I got off that plane.

Wayne in Ft. Walton Beach, FL: Mike, this may seem like a small thing, but why do people insist on visiting somewhere (Panhandle of Florida) for a long period of time (like the winter months), but never ever seem to learn where they are going? Are maps that difficult a thing to learn how to use? Most of the snowbirds that we have seen down here are being unintentional left lane vigilantes, mainly because they seem to be either A) lost B) caught up in the natural beauty surrounding them or C) can’t see between the dashboard and the steering wheel. A free word of advice to all of you who visit here every year to get away from the “horrid northern winters”…..LEARN WHERE YOU ARE GOING BEFORE PUTTING THE KEY IN THE IGNITION!! You will avoid having people who live here all of the time wanting to beat you to a pulp with a blunt object. Cheers and have a nice day!

Liz in Monroe, GA: My GRRR! goes to those people who can't simply call something what it is. It's Wal-Mart, not Wallyworld. It's McDonald's (or MacDonald's here in the south), not Mickey D's. Then there are Acronymrods -- those are the people who use way too many acronyms in emails and conversations. Whew. I feel much better now. Thanks.

Dane Judd in Vina del Mar, Chile: I´m getting old and cranky; therefore, I have thousands of Grrrs. Today's is to all those who complain about this "American Idol" crap. Turn off the durned box! Go do something useful with your leisure time like play with -- and teach something to -- your children or grandchildren. I quit watching television 15 months ago when my only son was born. This week I canceled the cable service. Why veg out on garbage when you can watch life unfold before your eyes?

And that's your Grrr! for today.

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