Thursday Special

Last Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

Your next door neighbor has a very tall tree……

Your neighbor’s body language tells you that he is not interested in negotiating your problem.  He is closed off to anything you have to say and hostile to boot.  Although it might be useless to continue communicating, you might try speaking to his self-interest.  You might say, “If the next storm comes with strong winds from the East, you could lose half your house if that tree falls in your direction.  Are you insured for wind damage?  If you decide to take that tree down, I am willing to help you with it , or help you pay for someone else to take it down.  What do you prefer?”


Scenario #2

Your teenager, Benjamin, is barely getting passing grades in school……

From your child’s body language, you know he is lying.  Moreover, you also know he is not studying.  Turn off the television, take his cell phone, sit down next to him and calmly talk about how he wants his future to look.  Ask questions about how he thinks he will earn a living if he flunks out of high school.  Ask him to tell you how he envisions his life when he is 20 years old?  Will he be pumping gas?  Will he take a job as a used car salesman?  Will he be bagging groceries at the local super market?   The problem with kids is they only think about today and what feels good right now.  Their future is closer than they realize and stupid decisions today will impact their choices tomorrow.  As parents, we have to help them see that.


Scenario #3

You are the mother of near- genius eleven year old who is being bullied…….

The body language of the bully’s parents tell you that they are fully aware of their son’s bad behavior.  Most probably they have had discussions with him about it. Both are frustrated and not surprised to hear what you have to say.  They are open to any suggestions you might have.   It might be best, however, to ask for their recommendations on how to stop this behavior.  You might say, “What should I do to insure my son’s safety from your son’s bullying?”


This Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

Dan Cooper is the only son of Jason Cooper, the President and CEO of an over-the-counter medicine manufacturer.  Jason wants Dan to go into the business when he graduates from business school.  Dan, however, has no interest in business.  His great love is for classical music.  He wants a career in music composition.  To that end, Dan spends every spare minute in College taking music courses.  At the end of four years, Dan graduates from business school with a “C” average and enough music credits to be accepted into the nation’s best conservatory of music.


Jason tells his son either he goes into the family business or he will be cut off financially and permanently from the family’s fortune.  Dan knuckles under.  After working three weeks in his father’s factory, he becomes severely ill.  It is as if Dan has suffered a stroke.  His right side is virtually useless and his speech is slurred.  Dan drags himself around the factory on crutches.  Strangely, doctors find no evidence of a stroke.  Dan’s mother, Belinda, fights with Jason to please let Dan do what he wants with his life.  Jason is adamant that he wants Dan trained to take over the company.  How can this story end happily for all concerned?


Scenario #2

Sally and Jay have been happily married for twenty-five years.  Sally has never had any health issues; Jay has had a constant struggle with high blood pressure.  He does take drugs to help keep his blood pressure down but as Jay has gotten older, these drugs seem to be less effective.  His doctor has advised him that he must absolutely stay away from stress-causing situations. In his condition, stress could be fatal.


Every year or so, Jay’s mother, Greta, comes for a visit. That is the time when Jay’s blood pressure goes through the roof.  The last time Greta visited, Jay had to be hospitalized.  The doctor said he nearly died.  Yesterday, Greta phoned and announced that she plans to come for a visit in two weeks.


Sally is frantic; she does not want Greta to visit.  Sally and Jay argue.  Jay insists that his mother visit as usual.  He does not want to deny her the pleasure of seeing her grandchildren.  He also insists that Greta be told nothing about his blood pressure problems.  He doesn’t wish to worry her.  Sally doesn’t want to become a widow with three kids to raise.  What can be done so that all parties are happy?


Scenario #3

Twenty year old Way-lin Yan lost her husband in an auto accident two years after the Yans had become American citizens. Way-lin’s husband had no insurance.  She had to support herself.  She took a six weeks secretarial course and an eight weeks course in English and went job hunting.  She had convinced herself that she would be lucky to get anything because of her lack of experience.


At Grabit, Grabit amd Runn, a stock brokerage house, they saw meek, mild, naïve Way-lin coming.  GG&R had a vicious manager, Wayne Andrews, who loved to scream at his staff.  He would use foul language and insults when verbally abusing his staff.  People said his tongue could etch glass from thirty feet away.  He could not keep a secretary more than three weeks.  Most experienced job seekers realized immediately what kind of a boss (a bully)Waynewas and, if offered the job, would refuse it.  Way-lin thought she was lucky to be hired.


Over the next three years, Way-lin developed a serious case of stomach ulcers requiring surgery.  She had to wear a night-guard to protect her teeth from grinding them to bits during working hours.  Finally, a kind and caring nurse in her doctor’s office told her that she should quit the job before she did herself some permanent health damage.


When Way-lin toldWaynethat she was quitting, he went berserk.  When he finally stopped screaming, Way-lin promised she would stay on until a suitable replacement could be found and trained.  That was five months ago. Wayneinsists that none of the new recruits sent over by human resources is a satisfactory candidate.  Way-lin now has a new case of stomach ulcers.  What can be done to make all parties happy?


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