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Squeaky Wheels

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

Constructive criticism is like that blue-green liquid Mom shoehorned in my mouth when I was sick. Yucky now. Helpful later.

If a problem should be addressed or a task could be improved, this info is gold. Even if it comes wrapped in a complaint, the goal is growth.

Destructive feedback is like climbing a stepladder too close to a running ceiling fan. (I did that in 2000 at the Emory Service Project.) The only payoff is pain and embarrassment.


No matter what we fix now, they’ll be back with another problem.

If we were to give them a golden brick, they’re liable to whine that it’s too shiny, or too heavy, or too bulky to fit in their pocket…

Squeaking of Aesop’s Fables

A man and his son walked with their donkey to market. A passerby said, “You fools, what is a donkey for but to ride upon?”

The man put the boy on the donkey. Another passerby said, “That lazy youngster lets his father walk while he rides.”

So the man traded places with the boy. Another passerby said, “Shame on that lazy lout to let his little son trudge along.”

The man pulled up his son and they both rode the donkey. Yet another passerby said, “You should be ashamed for overloading that poor donkey of yours.”

The man and boy climbed down. They cut a pole, tied the donkey’s feet to it, and carried the animal on their shoulders. Everyone they met on the way laughed at them until they reached Market Bridge.

The donkey jerked, causing the boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the donkey fell over the bridge. His fore-feet were tied together, so he drowned.

An old man who’d followed them said, “That will teach you.”

The moral? If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one.

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