Whose Cat Are You Kicking?

Respect of Persons

6/19/20233 min read


This year, I want us all to concentrate on keeping the “other guy” at the forefront of our minds. It doesn’t matter if the Other Guy is a customer, a vendor, a co-worker, a subordinate, or a member of the office staff. When we react out of fear, or anger, or frustration towards the Other Guy, we miss an opportunity to create a positive work, business, or dining environment for the Other Guy. Our reaction is a direct reflection of our mental state at the moment and is often not an accurate picture of the authentic US. However, it is how we will be remembered by the Other Guy and usually affects the Other Guy forever.

There is a story that motivational speaker Zig Ziglar told at all of his conferences.

Mr. B was the top dog in a very large company. Every morning, he met some of his cronies for breakfast. On this particular morning, he lost track of time. He looked at his watch and realized he was going to be late for work.

He left the restaurant and jumped in his car. He barely had the engine started when he threw it in reverse to back out. He burned rubber leaving the parking lot. As he got on the freeway he put the gas to the fiberglass.

As he sped down the highway, he looked in his rearview mirror. His heart skipped a beat when he saw the flashing lights. He pulled over and rolled down his window.

“Where are you going in such a hurry,” the officer asked.

“I’m needed at work,” he replied abruptly, “I’m a very important man!”

“Well, you’re not above the law.”

“I didn’t say I was … but shouldn’t you be chasing real criminals and leave me alone?”

“I’ll leave you alone in a few minutes. Let me see your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.”

Mr. B handed him the requested information. Then he sat there and stewed. As the minutes passed by, he got angrier and angrier.

The officer came back and handed him a ticket, along with the rest of his documents. He grabbed them out of the officer’s hand, rolled up his window, and took off down the road.

He finally arrived at work. He was really late now. When he got to work, the first person he saw was his sales manager.

“Good morning, Mr. B,” said the sales manager with a smile.

“There’s nothing good about it,” barked Mr. B, “I want to see you in my office NOW!”

The sales manager followed him into his office.

As Mr. B threw his coat down on the couch, he yelled at the sales manager, “You fell short of your goal last week for the second week in a row. I want to know what you’re going to do to get back on track and I want to know now.”

“Mr. B,” the sales manager objected, “We just talked about this yesterday. We have four big deals. Any one of them will put us over the top and I’m sure we’ll get at least one of them.”

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Mr. B blurted out while looking at some papers on his desk. “You’re dismissed.”

The bewildered sales manager walked back to his office. When he got there, the first person he saw was his assistant. He screamed at her. She screamed at someone who screamed at someone else.

And so it went for the rest of the day.

Eventually, the receptionist got yelled at. When she got home, the first person she saw was her twelve-year-old boy. She yelled at him and sent him to his room.

On the way to his room, the family cat walked in front of him. He kicked the cat!

So here’s the question –

Wouldn’t it have been much better, for everyone involved, if Mr. B had just gone directly to the receptionist’s house and kicked her cat himself?

And here’s an even more important question –

Whose cat are you kicking?