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Friday, August 26, 2005

Lactose Intolerance

Has anybody out there read Who Moved My Cheese? I haven't, but it was referred to during the contract class I sat in on this week, supposedly as a motivational tool. The class instructor summarized it for us this way: We are the mice. Mice need cheese to live. What do you do when your cheese is relocated? The instructor then asked us a series of soul-searching questions beginning with:

1) What is your "cheese"? Identify what it is that you need to survive.

Well, right there, I knew this wasn't going to square with her objective. She was talking dollars, i.e. how much money we need to make in real estate. Sorry, honey, but that's never been my cheese. I don't need anything, really; I've already got more than I need. But forced to play along, I dutifully listed my "requirements."

1) Lighten the financial burden on my husband
2) Afford good health insurance
3) Pay someone else to regularly clean my house

Good thing we didn't have to answer aloud. Explaining my answers to the Hummer-driving, designer-labeled, diamond-dripping bleach blonde leading our training would have been futile. She added that you should only be in this business if you are going to go for the gold. "Why go into real estate and be comfortable making only $20,000 or so? I could work at McDonald's for $25,000 and get benefits!"

Hey! Maybe that's what I should be doing! Thanks for the tip. That would meet all my goals. Besides, handing bags of food out a drive-through window sounds like a piece of cake.

My mood quickly changed from mild amusement to heavy sarcasm when she started quoting Benjamin Franklin. Now, Ben's one of my all time favorites, in fact I've been driving around with a copy of Franklin: Writings in the car to enjoy in my spare moments, so hearing her try to channel some of his wisdom was nearly blasphemy.

Here are a few quotes from Poor Richard's Almanack that she must have missed:

Content makes poor men rich; Discontent makes rich men poor.

Better is a little with content than much with contention.

A wise man will desire no more than what he may get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly.

Content is the Philosopher's Stone, that turns all it touches into gold.

Content and riches seldom meet together,
Riches take thou, contentment I had rather.

Who is rich? He that rejoices in his portion.

Sure, Franklin wrote The Way to Wealth, but he was still appalled when his wife served him breakfast one morning in a silver porringer rather than his regular cheap, though still serviceable china. Maybe she overlooked his autobiography and his Art of Virtue writings as well. It is certainly no coincidence, considering the title of my post, that he authored the material in this book. Don't mess with Ben.

My new boss has promised me crumbs, deals too small for him to bother with. When your boss does nearly 70 million in sales each year, crumbs are plenty.

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