Originally created 09/17/99

Workplace tension is on the rise



Leadership must be demonstrated, not announced.

-- Fran Tarkenton

A new study says workplace hostility is growing.

There are tension, aggression and a general unhappiness that weren't noticed in previous decades, some experts says.

Personally, I think there has always been animosity on the job, but nobody used to talk about it.

These days, people do, because too many of us seem to be going through life like we're auditioning for a TV talk show seat.

Lighten up.

Thinking someone's beneath you can have its consequences, as this story illustrates:

It seems a man flying in a hot-air balloon soon came to realize he was hopelessly lost.

In the distance, he saw a man on the ground below, lowered his balloon somewhat, and shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?"

"Yes," the man shouted back. "You're in a hot-air balloon."

The balloonist sized him up for a second, then said, "You must work in information technology."

"I do," replied the man on the ground. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the balloonist angrily, "everything you have told me is technically correct, but it's of no use to anyone."

The man on the ground only smiled.

"You must work in management," he shouted back up to the balloonist.

"I do," said the balloonist. "But how did you know?"

"It's simple," said the man with his feet on the ground. "You don't know where you are or where you're going, but you expect me to be able to help. You're in the same position as you were before we met, but now it's my fault."

* * *

MAILBAG: Harvey and Joan Lacombe of Aiken send postcard greetings from Alaska and the Yukon.

They write: "Just left Alaska driving on the Top of The World highway."

Morgan and Jewel Allen of Evans send a card from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, which they call "Awe-inspiring!"

And Victor Navarro of Martinez sends a photo of his daughter Corrie reading The Augusta Chronicle while secured in the stocks at Williamsburg, Va.

* * *

RIDDLE ANSWER: With thieves I consort. With the vilest, in short, I'm quite at my ease in depravity. Yet all divines use me, and savants can't lose me, for I am the center of gravity. Who or what am I? (Answer: The letter V.)

* * *

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEKEND: A $1 bill met a $20 bill and said, "Where've you been? I haven't seen you around here much."

"Oh, you know," the 20 answered, "I've been hanging out at the casinos, went on a cruise, went to a couple of baseball games and the mall. How about you?"

"Oh, you know," answered the dollar bill. "Same old stuff ... church, church, church."

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 107.