Wrong Age, Wrong Color, Wrong Status, But The Right Person For The Job

Originally published January 30, 2013.

Revised and republished December 5, 2015 after a web host transfer.

He was 19 years old. He was black. He was a carpenter.

But Vivien Thomas was the right person to develop the techniques for heart surgery.

In 1930 white surgeon Dr. Alfred Blalock ignored all the wrongs and saw something right about the teenage black male carpenter. Dr. Blalock hired Vivien Thomas as a surgical research technician at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Vanderbilt University paid Thomas as if he were a janitor, because all blacks at Vanderbilt received janitor’s pay no matter what their real jobs were.

But Vivien Thomas was the right person to invent instruments for heart surgery.

When Dr. Blalock considered a position at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and wanted to take Vivien Thomas with him, the hospital let Blalock know that Vivien Thomas would not be welcome.

But starting in 1944, Dr. Blalock performed the first heart operations at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore with Vivien Thomas standing on a stool behind him, looking over his shoulder. Blalock needed Thomas to coach him through the surgery Thomas had developed.

Years after doctors from around the country and around the world came to Johns Hopkins to learn the heart surgery techniques Vivien Thomas had developed and a year after Vivien Thomas developed a complex surgical technique called atrial septectomy, Thomas looked into fulfilling his dream of becoming a doctor. He applied to Morgan State University. Morgan State ignored Thomas’ pioneering accomplishments and told him he would have to take all of the basic freshmen courses.

But Dr. Blalock had Vivien Thomas doing surgery alone on lab dogs within weeks of hiring him when Thomas was still 19 years old. The techniques Thomas developed became the basis for a variety of heart surgeries.

Johns Hopkins awarded Vivien Thomas an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1976. Today, Dr. Thomas’ portrait hangs next to Dr. Blalock’s portrait in the lobby of the Alfred Blalock Clinical Sciences Building at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Questions To Ask Yourself

“How many people in my life have benefited because a white male surgeon ignored all the wrongs and hired the right person for the job?”

“How much have I lost because someone else saw only the wrongs and refused to hire the right person for the job?”

“What can I do to encourage other people to hire the right person for the job so that I don’t lose any of the benefits the right person would create for my life?”

“How am I going to make sure I choose the right person for anything?”

Note 1

In the decades before Dr. Blalock hired Vivien Thomas, individual doctors performed early forms of heart surgery. The surgery developed by Vivien Thomas and performed by Dr. Blalock was the surgery that made the world take notice and brought you whatever benefits heart surgery has created in your life.

Note 2

Several on line references write about Vivien Thomas as a janitor. According to Thomas’ autobiography, he never worked as a janitor. He was paid as a janitor, but never worked as a janitor. Dr. Blalock hired Thomas to be a surgical research technician and put Thomas to work doing surgery on dogs his very first day of work. Within weeks, Dr. Blalock had Thomas doing the surgery by himself.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.co

Letter To A Crony Clique

Originally published April 10, 2013

Revised and republished December 5, 2015 after a web host transfer.

This post is an attempt to help you recognize crony cliques, understand their barriers and tactics, and make them answer for their actions.

The Encarta World English Dictionary definition of crony is:

“a close friend, especially one of long standing”

The Encarta World English Dictionary definition of clique is:

“a close group of friends or colleagues having similar interests
and goals, and whom outsiders regard as excluding them”

A crony clique is a group of friends or colleagues that keeps its interests and goals separate from outsiders. Cronies treat outsiders who try to participate in the clique’s interests and goals as trespassers. As a group they use crony tactics to protect themselves from trespassers.

Crony tactics to keep outsiders out include restrictions on membership using a variety of barriers:

Identity barriers

Rule barriers

Physical barriers

If a crony clique is forced to include an outsider, the cronies will treat the outsider as a trespasser and use a variety of tactics to prevent trespassers from participating in their privileges, including:

Double standards for accomplishments

Double standards for behavior

Behind-their-back meetings

Rerouted communication for the purpose of hijacking a decision or process

Ugly gossip about trespassers to hide crony tactics
(Crony clique members hide their own wrongful actions by accusing
the people they harmed of taking wrongful actions.)

If they feel the need, crony cliques will use a combination of barriers and tactics to protect themselves from outsiders and trespassers.

If a crony clique is treating you as an outsider or a trespasser, try sending them a letter asking specific questions. If any individual, group, or organization has a stake in the effectiveness of the crony clique, you could also send a copy of the letter to them. This will put pressure on the crony clique members to explain their actions to the people whose approval they need.

I had a bad experience with a crony clique that was part of the county historical society. After doing research on crony cliques, I decided to send the crony clique a letter and send a copy to the county historical society. You can use my letter as a template for writing your own letter to a crony clique. If you like, send a copy of your letter (with names removed) to paula at speakingfromtriumph.com. Let me know the crony clique’s response, as well as the response of anyone with a stake in the crony clique. I will use all the letters and responses to give my readers more information about coping effectively with crony cliques. Together, we can work to make our communities, states, and country more effective.

My Crony Clique Story

I live near an historical building that belongs to the county historical society. Individuals volunteer to be on the committee that hosts fundraising events for the purpose of maintaining the building. The events include an annual art show as well as music and other events. The woman who had originally organized the art show decided to end her participation after more than a decade. No one stepped in to keep the show going, so one year went by without an art show. The next year, 2006, I discovered that no one was going to organize a show again that year, so I said I would do it. I had volunteered at the art show for years, so I at least had that experience.

I contacted people who had been part of the historical building committee before, inviting them to the first meeting. Since I had never been on the committee before, I mostly coordinated the meetings and provided opportunities for the people with more experience to do what they had done before. I also headed up the art show committee, organizing the artists and volunteers. Through our combined efforts, the show was a rousing success.

In March 2007, I finished making a documentary about the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), host of the longest running and most successful renewable energy fair in the world. I made the documentary to understand the amazing success of the MREA’s annual energy fair. I discovered the ingredients for spectacular success. Every spectacular success around the world uses most if not all of the ingredients for spectacular success. Examples include Habitat for Humanity, the Underground Railroad, Martha Stewart, Solidarity in Poland, Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, the world’s largest trivia contest, and the navy cruise missile destroyer USS Benfold under Captain D. Michael Abrashoff and the commander who followed him.

At a three person art show committee meeting in early 2007, I said I wanted to sell my documentary at the art show. An artist at the meeting immediately told me I would have to ask the full committee for permission.

Artists on the historical building committee sold their art at the art show without ever asking permission to do so, including the artist who told me I had to ask for permission. A singer on the committee regularly scheduled her own group to sing at the historical building without ever asking permission to do so. A business owner whose store is across the street from the historical building used the historical building’s outdoor bulletin board for free advertising without ever asking permission to do so. The owner of a landscaping company donated trees and plants to the historical building and used the donation to advertise her business. A former committee member with a framing business framed old photographs to hang in the historical building and used the donation to advertise her business. A local businessman who did some work on the historical building posted a sign in the parking lot to advertise his business. All of those people found ways to personally profit from their volunteer time for the historical building.

Any community artist who wants to sell their work at the art show merely had to say, “I want to sell my art at the art show.” They wrote their names and addresses on a list. A few months before the show, the head of the art show committee (that would have been me at the time), sent letters to everyone on the list and the first 40 who responded sold their art at the show.

No one had to ask permission to personally profit from the art show.

I sent an email to all of the committee members asking why I was the only person who had to ask for permission to sell their art at the art show. I received no response. The artist had created a rule barrier, but no one could think of a way to justify the rule barrier.

I would like to point out here, as I did to the historical building committee, that very few people would have bought my documentary. Documentaries do not sell well. I watch documentaries all the time, but I have never bought one. I wanted people to see my documentary on a table and pick it up to read the back cover. Then people who had never heard of the MREA would learn about it and possibly look them up on the Internet, visit the fair, or attend a one of the workshops the MREA hosts at other times of the year.

Because my documentary shows the history of an historical event in the county, it seemed to me that it should be included in historical society events. I emailed the president of the county historical society, and he agreed to take copies to sell at historical society events. Any profit would go to the historical society.

I was right to consider my documentary a resource for the county’s history. A former executive director of the MREA later told me that whenever they hired a new employee, she would hand them a copy of my documentary and say, “Here. This is the history of the MREA. Watch it.” A later MREA director used 17 quotes from my documentary in a book about the first 20 years of the energy fair. My documentary was the major source for the book.

As soon as the committee found out that I had contacted the president of the historical society, one of them emailed me to accuse me of going behind their backs.

I was unable to attend the next two meetings — an art show committee meeting and a full committee meeting. After those two meetings I received the following email. I have put the crony clique clues in bold font:

To let you know, we discussed a policy (initially at the
art show mtg and then confirmed at the General Comm.
Mtg) regarding the sales of non-art items at the Art Show
and music events, as well as other items in general. We
decided that we don’t want to be in the business of selling
stuff, or promoting others’ materials. So the policy reads
something to the effect that only items from non-profit
organizations may be displayed or sold (that gives us
discretionary power). We hope it will eliminate complications
such as the (specialty) T-Shirts in which we ended up losing
money because we lost track of the inventory.

This policy would also apply to your DVD’s, Paula. We
hope this isn’t taken as a personal affront. We just want to
avoid the complications of selling other products.”

The singer who used the historical building as her personal performance stage wrote this email to me. Her group no longer performs yearly at the historical building. Perhaps the conflict of interest became to blatant to ignore.

Lets look at the crony clique clues in detail.

“…we discussed a policy (initially at the art show mtg and
then confirmed at the General Comm. Mtg)”

These were behind-my-back meetings.

“non-art items”

“stuff”

“other products”

The art show sells still photographs. One year they sold photographs that had been cut to fit magnets to put on refrigerators. Video is a form of photography. Both still and moving pictures begin with cameras. My documentary includes graphics and music, both of which are considered art.

After receiving that email, I googled “documentary as art” and got 1,100 hits. I googled “Arts and Sciences + documentary” and got 27,400 hits. I googled “documentary artist” and got 10,200 hits. Every year around the world, thousands of film festivals and awards ceremonies recognize and celebrate documentaries as art. The crony clique historical building committee set a double standard for my documentary by deciding it was “non-art” “stuff”.

In the case of video photography, the crony clique historical building committee actually set two double standards. For years, the historical building committee has shown a version of my “stuff” at the historical building. They have a yearly summer movie night. They started out showing movies about people and events in Wisconsin’s history.

Remember, my documentary is about a nonprofit organization within the same county as the historical building. Members of the MREA staff consider my documentary a history of the MREA and its annual fair. It fit the characteristics the committee looked for in the movies they showed.

“others’ materials”

These words created an identity barrier. They clearly identified me as an “other”. The cronies saw me as a trespasser.

“So the policy reads something to the effect that only items
from non-profit organizations may be displayed or sold
(that gives us discretionary power).”

Again, my documentary is about the nonprofit MREA. Selling the documentary at the art show would support the MREA in more than one way. First, my documentary would draw attention to the MREA. Second, the back cover states that 50% of the profits will be donated to the MREA. (Because documentaries do not sell well, I have not yet made a profit.) This rule barrier excluded the nonprofit MREA.

“This policy would also apply to your DVD’s, Paula.”

This is a rule barrier written specifically to prevent me from sharing in the privileges the cronies wanted to protect from trespassers. Obviously, the other members of the historical building committee considered their ability to personally profit from being on the committee a privilege that I did not deserve.

The two meetings I did not attend took place two months before the art show, so they had ample time to wait for me to be present at a meeting to discuss my documentary. They purposefully discussed my documentary behind my back so they could use an identity barrier to create a rule barrier using a double standard for accomplishments. They did this to prevent me from sharing in the personal profit privilege they wanted to keep to themselves.

I resigned from both committees.

I cannot quote any specific instance of ugly gossip. I suspect that the committee member who accused me of going behind their backs has used ugly, blaming gossip to hide her own sabotage. I believe this because of another incident.

I live near a curve in our village. The accusing committee member drives around that curve to get to our post office. When I can see cars coming around the curve, I have 6 to 7 seconds before they reach my driveway — if they are going the speed limit. When cars go faster than the speed limit, I might have 3 to 4 seconds before they reach my driveway. I have looked towards the curve, seen no car, and backed out of my driveway only to find a car on my bumper as soon as I stop to shift gears.

To protect myself, I back slowly to the end of my driveway looking in the other direction where the road is straight. At the end of my driveway I turn to look at the curve before backing out. One day when I was slowly backing down the driveway and looking at the straight side of the road, the accusing committee member came around the curve and honked at me. She obviously had not considered the danger I face every time I back out of my driveway, because she did not slow down. I doubt that she was driving the speed limit. Given that experience, I am certain the accusing committee member would use ugly gossip about me without a second thought.

Crony Clique Short-Sightedness

Since crony cliques exist for their own personal gain, cronies cannot see beyond the tips their noses to consider:

Big picture

Long term consequences

Personal costs

Big Picture

Not everyone agrees with the thinking or actions of crony cliques. I told several people about how the historical building committee crony clique treated me. These are three of the responses:

“How weird! Of course film is art!”

“It’s their loss.”

“Have the MREA ask them to sell your documentary at the art show.”

In fact, the MREA sold my documentary every year I brought copies to their energy fair.

The historical building committee also ignored my documentary’s discoveries about 26 situational, organizational, financial, emotional, and relationship ingredients for spectacular success. One ingredient focuses on self. Two ingredients focus on task. Nine ingredients focus on working with others. Fourteen ingredients focus on satisfying others. Spectacular success comes from working with others and satisfying others.

Other people are paying attention to the ingredients for spectacular success. One of the people I connected with at the energy fair is now moving into a new career. This person is impressed with my findings about spectacular success. In response to an email, she told me she would remember the ingredients for spectacular success in her new career.

Long Term Consequences

The county we live in is a hotbed of spectacular success. I am revising a book that will include a chapter about this county. The chapter will list this county’s spectacular successes. If the historical building committee had treated me as an equal, working with me and satisfying me, I would have wanted to work with and satisfy them. I write about ordinary people who create success for others. I would have named individual members of the committee to bring them recognition for the success they create for artists at their art show.

But the historical building committee invited me to create failure for them, and I accept their invitation. I am using the historical building committee as an example of a crony clique focused on keeping their personal profit privilege to themselves. I am also offering my letter to the historical building committee crony clique as a template for other people to expose the true purpose of all crony cliques — protecting their privileges from people they see as outsiders and trespassers.

I will also refrain from increasing the committee’s success. As my income grows, I plan to be generous. I have built generosity into every sale from my online store. Using my own methods, I will be generous with people and groups in Portage County. If the historical building committee had treated me as an equal rather than as a trespasser, I would have donated money to the historical building. The committee chose to let me know that my “non-art” “stuff” documentary was far too inferior to include in their art show. Therefore, I will not force my inferior money on them.

Personal Costs

First, some of the people who read this blog post will recognize members of the crony clique. I have used no identifying details in this post, but some readers will know whom I’m writing about.

Second, the determination of the historical building committee to create failure for me is evidence that they create failure for other people, both as a crony clique and as individuals.  Failure begets failure, what I call “full-blown failure”. The crony clique members are living with more failure than what this blog post and letter will create for them. They are unlikely to completely understand the extent of the failures because much full-blown failure is done behind their backs. I am letting them know directly that I am creating failure for them because of the failure they created for me.

With this blog post I hope to make letters to crony cliques a common personal cost to crony clique members. Notice, however, that I am polite throughout my own letter to a crony clique. No name calling, no insults, no threats.

My Letter To A Crony Clique

To the 2007 historical building committee,

Please explain in detail what criteria you used to determine that my documentary is “non-art” “stuff”.

Please explain in detail what criteria you used to decide I was an “other”, as in “others’ materials”.

Please explain in detail how selling a documentary about a nonprofit is not a way of supporting that nonprofit.

Please explain in detail why I was told to ask for permission to sell my art at the historical building when no other artist had to ask for permission to sell their art at the historical building.

Please explain in detail why discussing my documentary at two meetings without my knowledge when you had ample time to include me does not fit the definition of “going behind my back”.

The only reason you could claim that I had gone behind your backs was that you had created a rule specifically to justify denying me the same personal profit privilege you maintained for yourselves. Please explain in detail your justification for creating that rule.

In 2009, the MREA celebrated it’s 20th anniversary. Please explain in detail what was unthinkable about showing my documentary history of the MREA as your summer movie and inviting founding MREA members to answer audience questions. The MREA could have sold copies of its book about its first 20 years. You would have shown support for the MREA by showing my documentary and selling their book. Why was that unthinkable?

If the MREA came to you with copies of my documentary and asked you to sell them so they could get their 50% of the profits promised on the DVD cover, how would you explain to them that my documentary is “non-art” “stuff” that does not support a nonprofit?

My documentary is both a history of the nonprofit MREA and a how to. It shows how ordinary amateurs with passion created spectacular success. The founding members of the MREA were all ordinary people who were amateurs at hosting a renewable energy fair, but they were amateurs with passion. Their amateur passion has created all kinds of successes for people, groups, and organizations in Wisconsin, in the United States, and around the world, including:

Friendships (and maybe romances)

Partnerships (and maybe marriages)

Skills for using renewable energy

New public policy on renewable energy in Wisconsin

Hands on learning for teachers

Workshops for kids

Service projects for community organizations

Economic boosts for local businesses during the annual energy fair

Portage County is a county of spectacular successes including but not limited to Trivia, the Green Circle, the College of Natural Resources, CAP Services, and the Suzuki Institute. Please explain in detail why it would be unthinkable for other Portage County amateurs with passion to learn the how-tos of spectacular success from the founding members of the MREA in my documentary.

Sincerely,

Paula Kramer

My Preference

I want to end by saying that I would prefer to write positive stories about the members of this crony clique. I have studied success and failure long enough to understand that my success is dependent on the success of other people. The more successful the members of the crony clique are, the more successful I can be. The crony clique members are intelligent people who have already created a number of successes in their lives. I know they are capable of creating more success than they’ve already created. They just do not understand that creating success for other people opens all kinds of doors to successes they did not know were possible.

I hope every single member of that committee comes to that understanding someday. We all benefit from other people’s success. We deny success for ourselves when we deny success for others. People who focus on one particular kind of success with the belief that achieving it requires excluding others will achieve only that one kind of success. People who exclude others lose out on all the other possible successes that the other people could have created for them.

To understand the possibilities of other kinds of success, read my post “Wrong Age, Wrong Color, Wrong Status, But The Right Person For The Job.” Anyone who has enjoyed the benefits of heart surgery is reaping those benefits because a black male teenage carpenter’s assistant enjoyed enough success in his life to develop the techniques and instruments for heart surgery. He taught those techniques and the use of those instruments to all of the first surgeons who wanted to learn heart surgery. And yes, it all began when he was still a teenager.

Good luck with your crony clique letters.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Working With Others & Satisfying Others

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

The Compliment Too Many Men Miss

Originally published July 31, 2013.

Republished November 27, 2015 after a web host transfer.

People are raised to believe all kinds of stereotypes. For men, one of those stereotypes is that friendly women are interested in sex. In the May 25, 2013 Dear Abby column, one young woman wrote that she was “naturally friendly and sometimes guys I’m not interested in think I’m flirting with them.” I am also a friendly woman. I encounter this stereotype frequently.

I have been widowed for decades and single by choice since 1998. The last man I dated wanted to marry me. I said no because I do not want to be married again. If my husband were still alive, I hope we would still be married. But I have reached a stage in my life where I am happily single. I intend to remain happily single for the rest of my life.

However, I do enjoy having conversations with men. I start conversations with men in public. I also start conversations with repairmen who come to my house to work on my telephone, furnace, electricity, and plumbing. Some of the repairmen are interesting to talk to, so I look forward to new conversations when those repairmen come back to my house.

One of those repairmen keeps mentioning his wife, which means he has missed my compliment — that I enjoy our conversations.

When I was in my 20s, I worked in a small neighborhood store in Chicago. A man with a high paying job who lived across the street from the store would come in to talk to the owner. One day when the owner wasn’t there, the man came over and talked to me. We had such a good conversation that he invited me out to dinner. Our interesting conversation continued through dinner. I went home knowing that the man had paid me the compliment of considering me an interesting person to talk to. He was free for that evening and invited me out so he could enjoy further conversation. I never expected anything more.

Compliments can smooth the irritations of the day. Compliments can increase confidence. Compliments can show people the positive things others see in them.

My conversations with men are compliments. I wish more of the men would recognize the compliment, because I intend to keep the compliments coming.

Below are some resources that reveal men’s mistaken assumptions about friendly women. Ironically, a study of college students found that men can misread women’s sexual come-ons as friendly gestures. The Dear Abby advice seeker also wrote that, “…when I try to flirt with a guy, it never works.” See this happen for yourself. Watch Leonard mistake Alex’s sexual come on as friendliness, “The 43 Peculiarity” episode of The Big Bang Theory.

It seems that too many men are missing more than compliments.

Men can also misread sexual desire in other men. Below are three quotes from three articles about the television show Death In Paradise. The characters mentioned are Detective Inspector (DI) Humphrey Goodman and Detective Sergeant (DS) Florence Cassell.

“He (Goodman) was probably trying to impress DS Florence, who he’s clearly in love with (as he was with DS Camille) though he doesn’t even realise it himself.”
Sam Wollaston, reviewer

“I don’t think they’re like that together – I think they’re just mates. I think that it would be a little disingenuous and a little cheating to the show.”
Kris Marshall, the actor who plays DI Humphrey Goodman

“You’ll see their friendship and how Florence wants to help him find a new girlfriend,” reveals Josephine. “But it is just friendship and nothing else. Humphrey had a kind of love story with Camille, so it’d be too silly to have another love story with another French policewoman.”
Josephine Jobert, the actor who plays DS Florence Cassel

I watch this show. I read Wollaston’s review before I watched the episode where Wollaston saw Goodman “clearly” in love with Cassell. I saw no evidence of love. Wollaston is just one man out of many who make the same mistakes. Makes me wonder what Wollaston has missed.

“Actor Kris Marshall on Death In Paradise: We have some real cracking murders coming up”
John Marrs
Sunday Express
December 20, 2015

“Alcohol’s Role in Sexual Violence Perpetration: Theoretical Explanations, Existing Evidence, and Future Directions”
Antonia Abbey
Drug and Alcohol Review
September 2011, Volume 30, Issue 5, pages 481-489

“Clueless Guys Can’t Read Women”
Jeanne Bryner
Live Science
March 19, 2008

“Death in Paradise review: the TV equivalent of a boring holiday timeshare”
Sam Wollaston
The Guardian
February 27, 2015 02.00 EST

“Death in Paradise star Kris Marshall reveals all about series five of the BBC drama”
Frances Taylor
tv.bt.com
January 7, 2016

“Science Confirms The Obvious: Men Mistake Female Friendliness For Sexual Interest”
Laura Allen
Popular Science
April 4, 2009

“Trying to flirt can backfire”
Dear Abby
March 24, 2013

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.
Updated August 18, 2017

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

To Maintain Gender Stereotypes, Find A Study Of Monkeys & Stick With It!

Originally publish September 11, 2013.

Revised and republished November 25, 2015 after a web host transfer.

In an opinion piece titled, “Boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls…so far”, Jim Wolff expressed concern about attempts to offer “boy” toys to girls and “girl” toys to boys. His concern showed up in these phrases:

“gender neutral”

“genderless society”

“politically-correct bulldada”

To justify his distress, Wolff wrote that “stereotyping is not created by society.”

Wolff cited three studies to prove that stereotypes are “naturally” created. His favorite study must have been the study of vervet monkeys because he mentioned it twice. In the study, boy monkeys chose “boy” toys and girl monkeys chose “girl” toys. In response to Sweden’s attempts to break down gender stereotypes Wolff wrote, “Apparently nobody in Sweden paid any attention to the study”, referring to the study of vervet monkeys.

Both of my grandsons did play with trucks. Both of my grandsons also asked to wear nail polish and went out in public with their painted nails. My youngest grandson marched in a parade with me. We wore vintage hats. He chose a hat with a red rose on top. People both admired his hat and applauded us as we walked by.

My granddaughter did briefly play with dolls. She later announced that she no longer wanted to wear pink clothes and was planning which tattoos she will get first when she is old enough. She’ll probably start with tattoos on her arms.

Were my grandchildren just not exposed to the right monkeys? Or is human behavior far more intricate than Wolff wants us to believe?

Wolff also stated we shouldn’t “bet the farm” on boys becoming “seamsters” because parents give them sewing machines. Wolff must consider it a crying shame that Jason Wu’s “cool parents” actually let him play with the toys he chose to play with — dolls! His favorites included a Bob Mackie Barbie, a Dior doll, and other Barbies! Jason even read fashion magazines! Then, his cool mother made the terrible mistake of buying Jason a sewing machine when he was only 9 years old! Jason’s parents even stood by and let Jason sew clothes for his dolls! How could Jason Wu possibly become successful with a sewing machine instead of a truck? It’s a tragedy that Jason Wu ended up designing two inaugural dresses for First Lady Michelle Obama. Now he’ll make the mistake of thinking he can be a successful seamster!

Stereotypes are like clay molds. Most of the clay has to be cut away to fit just the right amount into the mold. Most of what people feel and think and do has to be ignored to fit just the “right” feelings  and the “right” thoughts and the “right” actions into the stereotype mold. Jim Wolff cut out the evidence of what real children feel and think and do to push one study of monkeys as the guide for raising children the “natural” way.

“Boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls…for far”
Jim Wolff
The Berlin Journal
December 6, 2012, page 2
theberlinjournal.com

“Jason Wu: The American Dream”
Suzy Menkes
The New York Times
September 6, 2013

“Jason Wu Woos at Saks Chevy Chase”
Alexandra Geisler
Capitol File
August 29, 2013

This post will be listed as additional reading in the following book:

Gossip Power: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

No publication date is set.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Girl Growl Backfire: A Businesswoman Makes An Opportunity Disappear

Originally published Wednesday, July 17, 2013.

Revised and republished November 22, 2015 after a web host transfer.

The description for the first episode of TLC network’s Sin City Rules included the phrase “high-powered women”. When I think of high-powered women, I think of women like Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Marissa Mayer, Jody Foster, and Oprah Winfrey. I don’t agree with everything those powerful women do, but I recognize that they are powerful. Because of the phrase about powerful women, I watched the first episode of Sin City Rules. One episode was enough.

None of the women I consider high-powered do any of the following:

Hire six little men to lead them into a big party.

Invite other women to unfamiliar events so they can publicly laugh at them.

Engage in bad and ugly gossip so they can feel superior.

Announce that, “I am God.”

Lana Fuchs, owner of Billionaire Mafia, did all of the above. Instead of speaking and acting with girl goodwill towards other women, Lana purposefully growled at one woman in particular.

Lana’s girl growls backfired not just with television viewers, but with TLC executives. TLC cancelled Sin City Rules before the end of its first season. It did not even broadcast the final three episodes.

The blog Carbon Poker commented on the cancellation because one of the women on the show was professional poker player Jennifer Harman. The blog reported that Lana “constantly harassed” independent entertainment business reporter Alicia Jacobs.

Norm Clarke of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on a tweet from Gigolos co-producer Marklen Kennedy to Alicia Jacobs: “Cruella de Vil Fuchs is still mad that house fell on her sister back in Oz.”

Clarke also reported on a tweet from Karina in Toronto: “the only likable women were @REALJenHarman & @AliciaJacobs. Otherwise it was girls gone wild – Cougar edition!”

For a complete understanding of the lengths Lana Fuchs went to growl at other women on Sin City Rules, read the episode summaries yourself.

Clarke reported that the person with the most to lose from cancellation of the show was Lana Fuchs. Apparently, Lana saw the show as an opportunity to “energize” her Billionaire Mafia fashion company. Her girl growls backfired and made that opportunity disappear.

Remember, Lana Fuchs announced that, “I am God.” She made these statements about Billionaire Mafia:

Lana Fuchs is also the President and CEO of Billionaire Mafia, a Lifestyle Clothing Brand, which has become a top contender in the apparel industry in only a few years.  Lana continues to be involved in all aspects of the company, from design and manufacturing, to sales and marketing.  Since the creation of Billionaire Mafia in 2008, Lana has succeeded in turning her brainchild from a small tee shirt business into a global lifestyle clothing brand consisting of a full line of knits, wovens, denim, leather, tees, jewelry and much more.  Currently in 400+ select specialty retailers in the United States, Billionaire Mafia is currently in the process of establishing its flagship stores nationwide and distribution overseas.

Click on the link below to see how Billionaire Mafia is doing now:

www.BillionaireMafia.com

Not only did businesswoman Lana Fuchs make an opportunity disappear, she apparently made her company disappear.

“Sin City Rules cancelled, Jennifer Harman off TV”
PokerPop
Carbon Poker
January 18, 2013

“‘Sin City Rules’ gets poor reviews”
Norm Clarke
Las Vegas Review-Journal
December 12, 2012

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Girl Growl Backfire: A Petition Volunteer Drops Her Coworker’s Jaw

Originally published July 11, 2013.

Revised and republished November 21, 2015 after a web host transfer.

Through a number of friends, I met a woman I’ll call T.

I ran into T at stores, social events, and county events, but never got to know her. I did hear comments from people who knew T well that suggested T had an unpleasant characteristic. I discovered her unpleasant characteristic during a political petition campaign.

This campaign took place during the term of a politician whose manner of leadership left families and friends hesitant to talk to each other about politics. When campaign workers set up sites for a petition opposing this politician, there were reports of the politician’s supporters harassing petition volunteers. Some of the politician’s opponents were guilty of harassing the politician’s supporters. That was the political climate.

When I stopped at a petition site, I saw T standing right behind the table with another volunteer next to her. I asked if they had been harassed, then looked down at the petition. T asked, “Are you going to harass us?” I looked up to see T turning away with a self-congratulatory smirk on her face while her coworker dropped her jaw and stared at T.

T’s coworker did not look at me in fear of harassment. She looked at T in astonishment that she would rudely insult a petition signer. T’s girl growl insult backfired on her. Instead of making me look bad, she made herself look bad. Judging by the comments I’ve heard about T over more than a decade, making herself look bad is a habit.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Girl Growl Backfire: An Editor Gives Herself An Unprofessional Image

Originally published April 24, 2013.

Revised and republished November 21, 2015 after a web host transfer.

Girls grow up learning to judge each other according to four cultural themes of betrayal. Bad and ugly gossip are one method of betrayal. When girls and women respond to each other according to these cultural themes, they respond as if there are growling at each other. Think about all the times you’ve heard the term “cat fight” applied to women. I am tired of women starting cat fights that hurt and insult and betray instead of gab fests that heal and encourage and support.

I had hoped  to start a gab fest with a woman who edits a print publication. I sent her the following email (with identifying details removed):

“I am currently collecting examples of amateurs with passion. The founding members of the MREA were amateurs at hosting an energy fair, but they were amateurs with passion. Their passion created the longest running and most successful renewable energy fair in the world.

It seems to me that you were an amateur with passion when you started this publication.

Am I right?

I especially want to collect examples of amateurs with passion in Wisconsin. If you know of any others, please share them with me.”

This was her response:

“Thanks for the email. Passion is a requirement for any member of the Fourth Estate.

I have looked up your website, and I didn’t see any affiliation with MREA. I would be willing to share my experiences, but I would be be remiss in my duties, and in violation of our code of ethics, if I were to pass along non-public information regarding our sources to a third party without expressed written consent.”

You can see that the editor’s response was a growl. In order to respond with a growl, she had to stereotype me negatively. In order to stereotype me negatively, she gave herself an unprofessional image of incompetence and ineffectiveness. Her girl growl backfired.

The editor’s first image of incompetence was her supposed inability to recognize the word “examples”. The fifth word in my email is “examples” and I used “examples” a second time near the end of my email. The editor can read. She knows the word “examples” when she sees it.

The editor’s second image of incompetence was her failure to recognize the example in my first paragraph.The editor is an intelligent woman. She knows an example when she sees one. She also knows that examples are situations people can see from the outside. No sources required.

The editor ignored my double use of the word “examples” and pretended I had asked her for sources. My supposed request for sources required an extremely negative response because she wanted me to feel I had committed a sin.

As far as ineffectiveness, either the editor really was ineffective or she intentionally ignored one whole page of my website. That page describes my affiliations to the MREA. I made a documentary about the MREA.  The MREA used quotes from my documentary in their book about the first 20 years of their fair. I would never consider asking anyone for their sources within the MREA because I have my own sources. I’ve known some of my MREA sources for 30 years.

When I wrote the my email to the editor, the title of the page about the MREA was “Documentary.” That does not excuse the editor’s failure to find my affiliation with the MREA. This editor now writes investigative articles for her newspaper. Every time I see one, I wonder what she missed in her “investigation”.

Intelligent people can do foolish things, and the editor’s response to my email is an example of foolish failure.* She turned down an offer of free and admiring publicity. I wanted to put her in the same “amateurs with passion” category as the founding members of the MREA. From what I see, she looks like an amateur with passion who became a professional with passion. Why would the editor object to being in the same category as the founding members of the longest running and most successful renewable energy fair in the world?

I am tired of women responding to my goodwill offers with growls that stereotype me negatively. The editor’s growl was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Because of her, I came up with the term “girl growl”. I also decided to add the “Girl Growl Backfire” category to this blog. I had already created the Girl Goodwill page on my website. But the above growl from an intelligent woman proves that girl growls need to be addressed. Below are my definitions of both girl goodwill and girl growls.

Girl goodwill is any intentional effort to create success for other females.

Girl growls are any intentional efforts to sabotage success for other females.

My goal in adding the Girl Growl Backfire category is to convince women that both goodwill and growls are invitations. Send out goodwill and you invite other women to respond with goodwill. Send out growls and you invite other women to respond with growls. Instead of responding to this editor with a growl, I chose to expose how her growl at me backfired on her.

I also think it is time for women to hold each other accountable for betraying other women. The four cultural themes of betrayal create inequality between women. We can hardly expect men to create equality for women when women create inequality for each other. Equality between men and women will follow equality between women.

If the editor uses her intelligence and starts responding to other women with goodwill, I would be happy to write something positive about her. I still think she could be in my “amateur with passion“ category. I name the people I write about as examples of success. Free and positive publicity for a woman who did so well that she went from being an amateur with passion to being  a professional with passion. Do you see anything wrong with that?

Since the editor growled at me, it is likely that she has growled at other women. That means the editor has repeatedly sent out invitations for other women to respond to her with growls.

Update

The editor wrote an article about a local issue involving a resident. A number of the resident’s neighbors wrote comments to the article supporting the resident. Several online comments from the publication day of the newspaper disappeared. I know this because I read comments from a number of people wondering where their previous comments had gone. I went back to that article a few days later. All of the comments wondering about the disappearance of the earlier comments had also disappeared. Few comments remained. Apparently, the editor believes in freedom of speech only for herself.

Please join Paula Kramer’s Girl Goodwill Facebook campaign to create more success for all women. Unfortunately, Facebook moved my Girl Goodwill email to a different page, created a new password for my Girl Goodwill page, and has ignored all of my requests to give my administrative access back to me.

* Foolish failure
Failing to see opportunities for serendipitous success in people who are different from you because you do not understand that your success is connected to their success

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.
Updated July 31, 2016

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Girl Growl Backfire: 8 Words End A Friendship Of Years

Originally published August 14, 2013.

Revised and republished November 21, 2015 after a web host transfer.

I was a single mother because my husband died when our daughter was 8 months old. I was a disabled single mother because a childhood spinal injury had been repeatedly misdiagnosed. My disability was invisible, so a lot of people did not believe I had disabling pain in my spine. My daughter and I lived on Social Security Survivors Benefits, food stamps, housing assistance, and medical assistance. My husband died very young, so the benefits from his account were small.

A good number of people, groups, and organizations let me know that accepting any assistance meant taking money out of their pockets. For years I wrote letters to newspapers about poverty. One woman responded with an accusation of “…hiding behind your daughter and looking for free handouts.”

In this atmosphere, I failed another single mother. A tragedy happened in her family. I will give no details to protect her now the way I did not protect her then.

This single mother’s name came up while I was visiting two people I had been good friends with for a number of years. Feeling that the tragedy in this single mother’s life would only make my life as a single mother more difficult, I spoke eight hateful words about her.

The end of the friendship began immediately.

My girl growl backfired on me twice. The first backfire was the end of a friendship that was important to me. The second backfire is a continuing feeling of guilt for the way I failed another woman who was probably treated as badly as I was treated for being a single mother.

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

How Did Business Tycoon Donald Trump Miss The Opportunity To Turn Undocumented Mexicans Into Customers & Tourists?

Originally published May 7, 2014.

Updated and republished September 25, 2015 after a web host transfer.

Updated March 10, 2016 with a new example of encouraging startups in areas not considered fertile ground for startups.

The U.S. has spent billions to keep illegal Mexican immigrants out of the country. In his attempt to become the 2016 Republican candidate for president, Donald Trump promised, “I will build the wall and Mexico’s going to pay for it and they will be happy to for it.” How did business tycoon Donald Trump miss the business opportunities in this situation?

Mexicans come to this country to earn money for themselves and to send money home so their families can buy the basic necessities of life. They do not come to take jobs away from Americans. How do I know that? If American citizens wanted careers picking fruits and vegetables, gutting fish, or cleaning hotel rooms, no openings would be available for migrant workers.

Instead of spending money on a wall meant to keep migrant workers out, what if we spent money to invite Mexicans to become customers and legal tourists? Brazil provides an example for how to approach this.

The Brazilian domestic economy improved after the government instituted Bolsa Familia, a conditional cash transfer program. Poor families receive small amounts of cash every month on the conditions that children get vaccinations and stay in school and pregnant women get prenatal care. A university in Brazil calculated that these conditional cash transfers are responsible for about one-sixth of the reduction in poverty. The cash transfers also contribute to municipal growth. After spending these small amounts of money on food, shoes, clothes, and schoolbooks, parents bought household appliances. They created jobs for other Brazilians.

We could invite Mexicans to become customers and legal tourists by making conditional investments in small businesses and even schools in Mexico. Mexicans would be able to find jobs at home, the small businesses would benefit their municipalities, we would get a return on our investments, and people who make a living in Mexico would have income to buy U.S. products and visit the U.S. as legal tourists.

A border wall is too expensive and ineffective. U.S. citizens lost their property so the wall could be built. Conditional investments would not be perfect, but the money would be better spent than any border wall money money. People who are experienced in business investment could determine what the conditions should be.

To make sure the conditional investments are effective, we should follow the example of the USS Benfold, a guided missile destroyer in the U.S. Navy. Captain D. Michael Abrashoff became commander of Benfold when Benfold was the worst performing ship in the Pacific Fleet. Captain Abrashoff helped the crew become make Benfold the highest performing ship in the Pacific Fleet during his two years as commander. He began the process by asking each member of his 310 crew the following four questions:

Is there a better way to do what you do?

What do you like most about the Benfold?

What do you like least about the Benfold?

What would you change?

People who work with and are trusted by undocumented Mexicans could ask adapted versions of those four questions:

Is there a better way to create a life in Mexico?

What do you like about Mexico?

What don’t you like about Mexico?

What would you change?

The compiled answers would provide the who, what, where, when, how, and why of turning undocumented Mexicans into customers and legal tourists. Even Donald Trump might finally recognize the opportunities.

We could also learn from the success of Cofound Harlem, an incubator of new startups in Harlem. Cofound Harlem recognizes the importance of connections, role models, and desire. It decided to “bet on teams, not ideas.” The startups Cofound Harlem helps must agree to stay in Harlem for at least four years. Cofound Harlem’s efforts “attracted mentors, corporate partners, and board members from the ranks of big players like Google, the NYC mayor’s office, Amazon Web Services, and NBC Universal.” After 90 days, Cofound Harlem reported,

“The companies are doing well. Really well. Collectively, we have
1 seed round closed, 3 new products launched, and a ton of mistakes
to show for it. “

Cofound Harlem is committed to making a “deep, long-lasting impact in the village of Harlem.”

These approaches leave other problems unsolved. If Mexicans stay home to earn money, who will pick fruits and vegetables, gut fish, and clean hotel rooms for U.S. consumers? That question requires consideration. I do not have all the answers, but the migrants who do the jobs American citizens don’t want probably have at least some of the answers. Let’s ask them these questions, adapted from the questions Commander D. Michael Abrashoff asked all 310 members of his USS Benfold crew:

Is there a better way to do your low level job?

What do you like about working in the U.S.?

What don’t you like about working in the U.S.?

What would you change?

It’s obvious that ignoring the basic needs of undocumented Mexican immigrants has not given us what we want for ourselves. We need to recognize the basic needs of Mexicans here and in Mexico if we want to satisfy our own needs in the United States.

“Bolsa Familia: Changing the Lives of Millions in Brazil”
The World Bank

“Bolsa Familia (Family Grant) Programme: an analysis of Brazilian income transfer programme”
Luciana Mourao and Anderson Macedo de Jesus
Field Actions Science Reports
Special Issue 4, 2012: Fighting Poverty, between market and gift

“A costly U.S.-Mexico border wall, in both dollars and deaths”
Robin Emmott
Reuters
October 2, 2009

“Donald Trump promises Mexico will pay for wall”
Tom LoBianco
CNN

“How to get children out of jobs and into school”
The Economist

“Meet the 23-Year-Old Turning Harlem Into A Startup Hub Without All The Whiteness”
Jessica Leber
Fast Company Magazine, Co.Exist
March 2, 2016

“Standout Success For “The Best Damn Ship In The Navy”
Paula M. Kramer
blog.smilessparksuccess.com

“The US-Mexico Border” A Desert Monument to Failure”
Marc Pitzke
Speigel Online International

“Why Americans Won’t Do Dirty Jobs”
Elizabeth Dwoskin
Bloomberg Business
November 9, 2011

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Ignoring People/Opportunities

Opportunities, Not Fairy Tales

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Dreary, Gloomy, Or Fun?

Originally published July 26, 2011.

Revised and republished October 28, 2015 after a web host transfer.

When the weather is cloudy or rainy, what kind of day do you choose for yourself?

Dreary day

Gloomy day

Fun day

I choose a fun day.

My mother tried to kill me twice when I was very little. Terror filled my childhood because I never knew when my mother might try to kill me again. I felt safe only on Christmas Day because I knew she could not kill me that day. Terror marked every other day of the year.

When my mother’s attempts to kill me physically failed, She spent the rest of my childhood trying to kill me mentally and emotionally. She would tell me I could have or do something I wanted, then take it away from me at the last minute. On Christmas Day, of course, my mother had to let me keep what she had given me in front of other people. Every other day of the year held the possibility of tears from once again losing what I wanted. I couldn’t even feel safe on my birthday.

I am finally free of my mother. Now every day of my life is a day my mother cannot kill me. A cloudy day is an opportunity to have fun. A rainy day is an opportunity to have fun. Sunny days, snowy days, and stormy days are all opportunities to give myself whatever fun I can for that day.

What do you choose for yourself?

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com