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Don’t Look Back

It was a bad summer for my “I just had to have, 48-inch wide, counter depth, stainless steel” fridge.

Sadly, it broke four times in two months and it cost nearly $1000 to fix. There was a cascade effect–one problem caused another, which caused another. Eventually, I felt like the entire guts had been replaced.

While the good fridge was out of service, we moved our food to the fridge in the basement next to the furnace. We were on a name-brand fixed menu diet for most of the summer so having food off the diet out of reach was a good thing.

A lot of things stayed down there, unfortunately.

On October 22nd, after looking at one more electric bill with 2 fridges on it, we undertook the awful task of hauling our items back up to the kitchen. The funny part about this is that we barely had anything in the fridge upstairs. I guess in the months of August and September we had no need for ketchup, fish sauce, or vegetables for that matter.

There’s something to be said for food lost. By the time we got down there to look at it, there was quite a mess in that basement fridge. The first and easy decision was not to put anything “past its prime” back into the upstairs fridge. A lot of things immediately went into the garbage.

Along the way I came across a bottle of Mozart. It’s a chocolate liquor of some form. We can’t identify exactly when this bottle entered our household, but it had been opened and the contents were chunky, so we decided they needed to be poured out.

There’s something uniquely satisfying about pouring chunky chocolate liquor from a gold foiled bottle down the drain. If I akin it to HR, it is like making a major policy change where you have hung onto the old policy for an intrinsic reason, even if it no longer contributes to the business.

The other day I was driving down the road, and the great Boston song, Don’t Look Back came on. The lead singer from Boston was never good at articulating his words, so until I decided to go and look up the lyrics (a great use of the Internet), I never really knew what the words meant. It is too bad because they’re great lyrics.

“I can see
It took so long just to realize
I’m much too strong
Not to compromise
Now I see what I am is holding me down
I’ll turn it around, oh yes I will”

Lately, I’ve been thinking about change. I’m not necessarily a big change advocate. I’m definitely an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” type of consultant. After all, I appear to have kept that bottle of Mozart in my fridge for three years or more. Being in a bottle covered by foil, I had no idea what metamorphosis was occurring and it was out of site so out of mind.

I wonder how many of us have these little Mozarts lurking in our workplaces. What does it take for us to dig in and address them? What pressures are there to leave them alone? What is the effect of having them?

These are the things that strike me at the strangest times and places.


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