stories, lessons, and a lot of nonsense

I love Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I was excited that I was finally preaching a message that could have a scene from it worked in. I watch it every time I take a sick day from work (I watched it in full yesterday and then went to sleep with it on later), and many other times throughout the year. There is one character, though, that makes me mad every time I watch it. No, not Veruca Salt, although she is quite aggravating – Grandpa Joe gets under my skin. For 20 years, he lays in that bed, doing nothing but stinking up the place, but then when some great opportunity presents himself, he’s up singing and dancing. What is that? He tries to be noble by saying he won’t smoke anymore, but seriously, no one would care if he smoked if he was out earning a paycheck to support the family. He almost cost Charlie everything by convincing him to drink Fizzy Lifting Drink. Then he almost blew it again when he wanted revenge. Good thing Charlie is a boy of character. This is all surface stuff, though. Here’s what really bothers me about him:

Grandpa Joe is your typical leader, and by leader, I mean someone in a position of leadership, not a real leader. He wants all the glory but none of the blame. When the last ticket was found, he was dismayed that Charlie had failed to find the ticket. Yes, indeed Charlie had failed. It wasn’t a collective failure, cause Grandpa Joe was in bed the whole time, doing nothing. The next day, Charlie runs home, busts through the door, and shows off the Golden Ticket HE had found. What does Grandpa Joe do? He drags his wrinkled butt out of bed for the first time in 20 years and starts singing, “I’ve got a golden ticket…” He was willing to take credit for the success, but incapable of admitting his failures. He sounds like many a guy I’ve met.

You show me a guy that is unwilling to accept the blame for the problems in an organization he was running, and I can probably show you a guy had very little to nothing to do with any of the success that organization had. He was just in the right place at the right time, and more than willing to accept the accolades bestowed upon him.


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