Sunday, August 26, 2012


An American tourist was traveling the shores of the Irish Isles, and enjoying himself immensely. Arriving at yet another beautiful little port, well stocked with fishing boats and the usual sea side sights, he took himself off to the pub for a relaxing pint.

Seated at the bar, quite contented and pleased with his day, the American notices another man a few chairs down who's not quite as happy as he. Wishing nothing more than to share his pleasure, he asks the barman to treat the dour man to a pint on him.

The sullen man looks over, and in a voice just nice enough says "Thanks friend, but I have little to be happy about just now. I'd rather just drink in peace".

The American takes an interest in the somewhat bitter seeming old man, and moves over a seat closer. "Tell me your troubles" he says, thinking he might do a kindness in listening.

The grim older gent is clearly a working man, with a lifetime of duty imprinted across his face and hands. He looks at the American, and the decision to speak moves across his honest face like the turning of a switch.

"Well then' I'll tell ye. See these hands?" he said, while holding his work worn and powerful old hands. "These are craftsman's hands... good hands... and I've used them to build boats all my life. Over 100 boats I've built myself, and there's not a vessel in that harbour lacking my mark on it someplace."

The American looks from the old gentleman's hands and back to his wide and open face. "Why is that a reason to be glum?" He asked. "That's something to be very proud of indeed!".

"Why?" asked the old man "I'll tell you why.... you spend your whole life building boats. Good boats that work as hard as any man who sails them.... a lifetime of solid craftsmanship. What do kind of name do you think that would earn me? Well?" The old man said, as he looked at the American.

"A very good name, I would expect" said the puzzled tourist.

"Let me tell you different then" said the old man. "You'd think after a life like that I'd be called 'Jamis the Craftsman' or Jamis the Boat builder'..... something respectable like that. But no, friend. I'm not. A lifetime building good boats...... but just fuck one goat.... just ONE..... and it's Jamis the Goat Fucker for the rest of life."

The old man turned back to his glass... and the American took more than a long draft of his own.

And this is the story going through my head, after an employee seriously disappointed me yesterday.


Bob said...

Sounds like the old workplace/military joke about "attaboys." It's good to receive encouragement in the form of "attaboys," but it's good to remember that just ONE "aw, fuck" cancels out approx. 500 "attaboys."

Bob said...

And damn me if Tam wasn't on the same page I was on, when I scrolled down further in my RSS reader I found this:

Old NFO said...

Yep, they 'can' disappoint...