Wednesday, September 7, 2011

You vote with your feet

I had couple of interesting conversations with some frightened types at work today. One suggested that I make stand. The other suggested that I capitulate completely on bent knee. Both were suggesting I stay.

I would suggest to you that before making your last stand at the Alamo, you should take a very good look around at the Alamo and make sure it is worth fighting and dying for. Is this a fight that is worth winning? I don't want a Pyrrhic victory, and neither should you.

In the notorious words of Ricky Watters: For who, and for what? You better make sure it is worth winning.

The same advice goes double for capitulation on bent knees. Before you prostrate yourself and lick ass, you better consider whether the Alamo is worth licking ass over.

No friends, this is not the place for me. This is not my home. I have known that since virtually the first day I walked in the door. From the moment I walked in the door, the countdown started. The last time I walked through that door was on the way. I took the position as a consultant in a move born out of fear rather than desire. I was always planning to go short. I was just passing through town. Circumstances happened. I cannot believe how long this position has gone on.

I can't sell out, because I never bought in the first place.

When I stop to consider that this position has lasted for more than 4 years now, when I originally intended 6 months, I am truly astonished. This is nearly twice the duration of time I was at UCLA. That is amazing to me.

I understand the sentiments of those I spoke with. They are all very fearful of the future. Who is not? I understand the theory of a bird in the hand beats two in the bush. I would be lying to you if I didn't admit that I have considered these things.

There just comes a time when you are so vehemently opposed to management directions that you have to move on. You vote with your feet. If you don't like it, you leave. That is the best way to do it. You put a permanent end to it, and it a good thing.

Hunting and Gathering societies have been idealized as perfect little family utopias by those in love with the myth of the noble savage. The fact of the matter is that the !Kung San have just as many personal conflicts and vendettas as we do in Western Civilization. Humans are the same all over the world.

One of the chief reasons the !Kung don't kill each other as often as we do is because they move away from one another. They live a wandering and nomadic life-style of hunting and gathering. If somebody does something that severely pisses you off, it is easy to pick up and move immediately, or the next day.

If I don't like you, I move away from you. I go my own way. You go your way. In this way, we maintain the peace. They separate and move away from each other based on seemingly trivial conflicts. This is good, and highly functional for social order. Conflicts never gets that bad this way. Escalation does not occur. Out-and-out violence seldom happens.

I believe in the !Kung San philosophy and it is time to practice it. You vote with your feet and you leave. This terminates conflict, and that is a very beautiful thing.

When I walk out the door for the last time at this company, I will clear my mind of the internal politics therein, and I will never think upon these subjects again. It will fade away as a bad dream fades away when you wake. There will be a new reality to think about, and a new normal to establish.