Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I just came up with a great analogy. I think it's great, anyway. If you don't, too bad, you'll notice I didn't add a poll to this post.

Here's the deal. It's like Sampson has a white-collar job with this big company, and he's stealing mechanical pencils. Cheap ones, you know, 89 cents or something like that. Maybe the first couple were accidental: you have one in your hand near the end of the day, you get a phone call or run into the boss' office or something, you put it in your pocket and forget you did that, and you get home and there it is. It's just one pencil, why take it back?

But eventually he realizes that no one's really bugging him about the pencils, so he starts taking a few of them home a day. Just a few. No big deal yet. And as he doesn't get caught, he takes more, and more, until he's taking home a couple of boxes at a time.

What he doesn't realize is that all the pencils have RFID tags, and so his company knows he's doing it, so HR calls him in.

"Dude, you can't be taking pencils home with you like that. It's getting out of control."
"What do you mean? I'm not taking pencils home."
"Um, yes you are. Hundreds of them. You've been doing it for weeks."
"No I'm not."
"Alright, here's the deal. You've been stealing pencils. A lot of them. However, it's not like you're stealing computers. Yet. So, no more vacation time for you. Actually, it might be better if we relocate you to another part of the company, so you can kind of get a fresh start.
"But here's the thing: no matter what, DON'T STEAL ANY MORE PENCILS. I don't want to see you breaking any rule or law, but definitely don't steal any more pencils."
"Um, okay."

So yeah, his coworkers are saying "Dude, you got transferred because you were stealing pencils? That's weak!" Well, no, it was because he stole a bunch of them over a period of time and wasn't really forthcoming about it.

Well, time goes on, and what do you know? All of a sudden, pencils are disappearing again. So they call him in.

"What did I tell you? No more stealing pencils! And now you're doing it again!"
"Um, no I'm not."
"The hell you aren't! We track them, you know. We can tell you every single pencil you've taken."
"Those weren't stolen. See, one of my coworkers, Rick, he was doing this project, and he needed a lot of pencils, and I told him that if it was work-related, then he could use some from work if he took them back when he was done, and so he did, but he got busy at home, and he couldn't take them back, so he asked me if I would take them back for him, and before I could answer, he drove up in his truck, dumped them in my yard and took off. And I couldn't just leave them there, so I brought them inside, and I was just getting ready to take them back when you called."

See, it's not the pencils themselves. I realize that's not a major issue itself. (I also realize that the NCAA isn't limited to pursuing a single coach at a time, which seems to be a main point of that "argument." See, they can bust Sampson for pencils and someone else for manslaughter AT THE SAME TIME. Very clever, they are.)

It's that he stole HUNDREDS of them. MORE THAN ONCE. And LIED about it. BADLY. Now, I've never done this myself, but I know people who have ... when you are on probation for something, don't get caught doing it again. Just a tip.

But it's okay. He can always get a job announcing. Hell, Valvano did it, Packer does it, anyone with basketball experience can. Clean ethical background not required.

1 comment:

  1. Oohhhh. I like this. Couldn't have said it better myself.


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