Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Boiling Frog Syndrome

There is a strange phenomenon that biologists refer to as "the boiled frog syndrome". Put a frog in a pot of water and increase the temperature of the water gradually from 20oC to 30oC to 40oC…to 90oC and the frog just sits there. But suddenly, at 100oC, something happens: the water boils and the frog dies.

The frog has a fatal flaw. Having no evolutionary experience with boiling water, he is unable to perceive it as dangerous. Throughout their biological evolution, frogs have lived in a medium that does not vary greatly in temperature, so they haven’t needed to develop sophisticated thermal detectors in their skin. The frog in the pot is unaware of the threat and simply sits complacently until he boils.

As I sit here at Cubes –R – Us I look around and see how the Boiling Frog Syndrome actually works.

This is an actual picture of my job. Geeesshhhh! Depressing

On a Micro level, my job is a big ass bubbling cauldron. I was thinking, “ how can management plan on cutting 15% of our personnel without telling those who are safe that they are safe?” I am a Program Manager. By definition I get paid to think 4 steps ahead, and plan for the worse – but make the best happen, on time under budget. The better Program Manager you are, the better Plan A, B, and C you will have.

Well, as a good P.M. , I know that we will be reducing heads, and if no one has pulled me aside and assured me safety, I need to have a Plan A, B, & C; which would include getting a new job in almost all three scenarios. The only variant would be where, and what kind of job.

The Frog Syndrome is so bad and so rampant that our management just assumes that we will sit here and boil! As absurd of an assumption as that might sound, they are right. You would think you would see people working harder, smarter, longer hours, spending less money and interviewing for jobs "just in case". None of thee above is happening. Actually some people are spending more, and even taking vacations.

People are yappin’ it up all day and on youtube.
I say it again, WTF!

The stress level here in Detroit has been brewing for so long so gradually that people don’t even notice. Then one day they are out of a job, with bills up the Ying Yang and no game plan. That would be just about when the little froggies heart explodes.

Another common example of the boiling frog syndrome is weight gain. I'm sure we can all relate to this one. As you get older, your metabolism slows down, your activity slowly decreases as you sit at a desk all day and before you know it, you've gained 5 lbs. No big deal. Then the holidays hit and you gain another 5. No big deal. You will start the new year hitting the gym. After three hardcore weeks working out and a 3lb weight loss, life catches up again and you fall back into your weight gain rut. With each 5 lb gain you learn to accept it, because it's only 5 lbs.
If you gained 20 lbs overnight (similar to getting placed in a pot of boiling water) you would be disgusted with yourself. Since it was gradual you have accepted the heated condition.

As future millionaires we need to stay ahead of the pack. We need to be in the minority. Stay tuned to our surroundings. When you feel the heat, don't necessarily jump out the pot, but have your exit plan jumpin'

Holla at your Frog


Healthy Chelle said...

Very nice. Thoughtful and well organized.

Can you believe we are actually considering moving TO Michigan?



Anonymous said...

I agree with "Healthy Chelle", this is absolutely a great post! Very well written and right to the point from the perspective of an astute individual.

If you are not rich yet, you will be as long as you keep thinking four steps ahead.

Good Work

-Richard Bellum