Two donkeys …

I received this story via email recently and would like to share my musings on it …
Please excuse the english, because it has been a percolating forward ….
Anyways, here goes

A good story for all of us to follow in our careers and social life………… very true
Once upon a time a Washerman was bringing up two donkeys.Let us say Donkey-A and Donkey-B.
Donkey-A felt it was very energetic and could do better than the other. It always tried to pull the washerman’s attraction over it by taking more load and walking fast in front of him.
Innocent Donkey-B is normal, so it will walk normal, irrespective of the washerman’s presence. After a period of time, Washerman started pressurising Donkey-B to be like Donkey-A. But Donkey-B unable to walk fast, got continuous punishment from washerman. It was crying and told personally to Donkey-A “Dear friend, only we two are here, why to compete with each other?
We can carry equal load at normal speed “.
That made Donkey-A all the more energetic and next day it told to washerman that it can carry more load and even it can run fast also.
Obviously happier washerman looked at Donkey-B.., his BP raised and he started kicking Donkey-B. Next day with smile, Donkey-A carried more load and started running fast. But it was breathtaking for Donkey-B and it couldn’t act that way….But the washerman was frustrated, so he harassed Donkey-B terribly, and finally it fell down hopelessly.
Then Donkey-A felt itself as a supremo and happily started carrying more load with great speed. But now the Load of the Donkey-B is also being carried by Donkey-A., and still it has to run fast. For some period it did, finally due to fatigue it got tired and started feeling the pain. But washerman expected more from Donkey-A. It also
tried best, but couldn’t cope up with his owners demand. The Washerman got angry with Donkey-A also and started harassing to take more load… Donkey-A was crying for long time and then tried its best…
But it couldn’t meet the owner’s satisfaction.
Finally the day came when due to frustration the washerman killed Donkey-A and went for searching some other Donkeys.
Its an endless story……….
But the moral of the Story in Corporate and social life is……
“Think all colleagues are same and that everyone is capable…. Always Share the Load equally….. Don’t ever act smart in front of your Boss and never try for getting over-credit. ..
Don’t feel happy when ur colleague is under pressure.. ”
It doesn’t matter if u r A or B, for the Boss u shall be always DONKEY

I don’t know who really started this email – I have heard this kind of story before – something that encourages you to be average (or even below average) so as to not get killed by your boss – or more importantly, give your weaker colleagues at work, a chance to survive.
Somehow, I have never been able to relate this story to actual human beings.
The first impression that you’d get after finishing the story is … “how true” … and … “yeah ! this is what happens to people who act smart … ”
But if I’d permit myself to be a little cynical, I’d say – that what we are talking about here – are donkeys – and not humans.
Donkey’s don’t get paid by the amount of work that they do – nor do they ever get promoted for doing better or efficient work.
I guess what I am trying to say here is that – if you are doing the work of a donkey, then:
1. You are a fool to be doing it anyways
2. You should probably not try to show off – coz its basically not worth it
However, if you are working in a ‘REAL’ company – where your intelligence, talent, ethics and determination (and dedication) are merit to success, the earlier story is just pointless and baseless and I for one, cannot try to get into the mind of the person who must have created it.
Trying to be average – and just flow with the crowd is probably the most dangerous thought that one can get – and yet people do it – day in and day out – diminishing the difference between people and sheep.
This is in short, how a similar situation would go with ‘REAL’ people – and not donkeys

There are two employees – Employee A and Employee B
Employee A is always energetic while Employee B is just another average guy who is happy to get on with his work.
Employee A being the more enthusiastic and energetic of the two, finishes his work much before time and hence has time to take up some other initiatives.
He does his work to the best of his abilities.
Now, after a period of time, two things could happen.
1. The boss is extremely happy with Employee A.
He gives him a promotion and a big fat raise.
Both the employees A and B work the same hours, however, employee A makes 1.5 times the same amount as Employee B – even though they both started at the same time with the same qualifications.
2. The boss thinks he can take advantage of Employee A and starts loading him with extra work.
Now because Employee A is human (and not a donkey) and because he is not tied to a rope around his neck – and also because he very well knows his worth …
He tells his boss to kiss his ass, quits the job and gets a better one (because he is good and can get another job)
Either way, the better employee wins.
In the end, I guess, its the attitude which makes all the difference – no matter how talented you are or whether you were born with an IQ of 220. Unless you have the attitude and actually want to go ahead and do something, nothing is gonna get done.

This might be only slightly related to the original story, but I’d like to end with some very powerful lines that I came across in “Atlas Shrugged”
It goes something like this …

“I swear by my life and the love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine”

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Comments (9)

  • Rishi Agarwal 14 years ago Reply

    The last line from Atlas Shrugged compels me to read the book ASAP !!

    anyways. The 2 situations u have shown for the Employee story shows what you would do or in which situation u would like to be in.

    Anyways, that email is a very funny story and a very weird concept to relate Humans to donkeys. But people want to read and infer what they want to. One thing the Donkey A could have done is – He could have taken Donkey B’s load and helped him out and ease the pressure out from him. Coz Donkey B was in trouble had genuinely requested Donkey A to slow down.

    What i am trying to say is – there are many situations that could happen in this world. The story was just one such situation.So dont think that everyone should do what the story says !

  • mullingovermythoughts 14 years ago Reply

    dude, you dont consider a third possible situation in the real life scenario- employee B lets A do the work, and steals all the credit by being close to the boss while A was working… now he hasnt worked, got the accolades and the promotion… thats cruel but if you arent careful, it could be your life!!!

  • Saurabh 14 years ago Reply

    Rishi, I do agree with you with the load sharing part – but if you read carefully, the story says that donkey B was innocent and probably couldn’t care less.

    What I actually see out of the story is not that Donkey A was trying to show off and get ahead of Donkey B – but Donkey B actually going and asking Donkey A to slow down as they could both be average-ly good – which I feel is just wrong.

    And mulling, I think your third scenario happens more often than not – as sad as it may be.
    Thanks for pointing that out!

  • Rishi Agarwal 14 years ago Reply

    This is what i am trying to say.. Everyone infers what they think they might do in that situation !

  • eshuneutics 14 years ago Reply

    I liked this a lot. You are raising what I think is called the “asymmetry” of information. This idea, is new to me, but it fascinated me when I heard it explained. In life, we assume a sense of fair-play: how I work will produce how I am rewarded. But this is often not the case. That idea of fairness rests up a “symmetry” of information i.e. that a boss can see what A puts in, interpret this accordingly, and reward in relation to that interpretation.What happens in business (when the boss is a donkey-brain) is that the employee ends up holding a lot of information about how good they are because the boss can’t see what is there: asymmetry/imbalance. What happens in my world of education is this: X works hard, the boss can’t see it because s/he does not know what to look for, and s/he consequently rewards those who push information under the nose. The reward goes to the visible worker (who might be lazy) rather than the invisible worker (who does not see how to communicate their hard work). The result of this is that lazy people end up in top positions and others are then made to work like donkeys to conceal the lack of effort at the top. This is what you mean by “attitude”. Getting noticed=getting on. I do like the things that you dare to raise!

  • Rishi Agarwal 14 years ago Reply

    A lot of discussion on a stupid story ( Saurabh, u should thank me for forwarding it to u )

    Anyways, eshuneutics has described exactly what happens at workplace, in any company . This is coz out of 10 managers, atleast 7-8 will be a donkey-brain.

    Nice comment, eshuneutics…

  • Saurabh 14 years ago Reply

    eshuneutics, I read what you wrote (actually twice) and with whatever I grasped and I understood, I was quite blown over.
    Thanks for throwing a whole new dimension to the story – would have never thought of it from that angle …

  • D 14 years ago Reply

    Nice story. But like others I would say that besides ‘Hard Work’ there are a lot many things which affect your promotion/carrer. E.g. You may have heard of ‘office politics, gender-bias/glass ceiling’ and so on. All Managers swear by the term – Continious Improvement. And we all Donkeys think that it is possible. Anyhow Hardwork does pay, as you rightly said – a change in job and a better salary. May be HR guys need to reinvent their policies.

  • Jayanthii 8 years ago Reply

    Good story nicely related to the real time situation. 🙂

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