I hate watermelon.
There, I’ve said it. Can we still be friends?
I also can’t stand to listen to the Beatles.
Uh, oh, now we’ve crossed into dangerous territory.
It’s not that I think watermelon is bad. And I certainly have great respect for the music produced by the Beatles.
But, I’ve had enough of both to last a lifetime.
Every summer as a kid, I went to Boy Scout Camp. One night during each camp session we had a family night. Parents and family would come for campfire where we would enjoy stories, skits and songs.
Our troop had a tradition whereby parents would bring watermelon for us to enjoy after the families had gone on their way. We would be up late into the night having watermelon eating races. The goal was to finish every watermelon before going to bed. With nearly a watermelon per kid, you can imagine we got pretty creative with the various ways of eating it all.
To this day, the very smell of watermelon makes me want to turn and run the other way. Please, no more!
The Beatles suffered a similar fate for me. Growing up, we took many trips in the car together as a family. We all liked having music playing, but as a family, it was often difficult to find something on which we could all agree. The Beatles became the one thing we could all accept.
Side note: Unlike the Beatle’s White Album, Cheech and Chong’s White Album (actually called the Wedding Album…) was the only record I recall that was completely banned from further play in the house. Which, of course, made us want to listen to it even more. Back to the Beatles…
Later, the Beatles gave way to Paul McCartney and Wings. Same thing for me. I’ve had enough.
Our 8-track copies of these albums were well worn by the time I headed off to college.
When you’ve listened to these songs as much as I did as a kid, hearing them as an adult yields two possible outcomes. Either you would be struck by fond nostalgia, or, as in my case, quickly reach for the buttons to change the station (or playlist).
My reactions to both watermelon and the Beatles at this point are visceral.
What are your triggers? What things, events or situations bring about these types of strong negative reactions for you?
Are there things in your work environment that cause you grief, but that many others find to be pleasant? Maybe they were great at one time, but now it’s become too much of a good thing.
What about your staff?
What have you been doing the same way for so long that you (or your staff) simply can’t tolerate doing it one more time?
I’m not suggesting that you ban watermelon from your company cafeteria, or that you never allow the Beatles to be played within the office confines.
But, I do think it is good to look for places where changing things up might provide a much needed fresh perspective. Don’t wait until the smell of watermelon causes you to wretch – or your star employee leaves because they can’t stand the thought of having to submit a weekly status report in that same blasted format one more time.
Also, make the change real. The Beatles “unplugged” is still the Beatles. And that is so yesterday.
Go ahead, make a change. Make it bold.