A Tale of Two Brothers

Once upon a time, there were two brothers.

Both were clever young men, and both worked at well-paying jobs for large companies.

Brother One worked at Flipperty-Jibbit, Inc., while Brother Two worked for the Sinkhole Widget Factory.

One day, both brothers received some terrible news.  Their mother had been in an accident.  Both brothers rushed over to the hospital to make sure she was being taken care of.

It turns out their mother had suffered a serious injury, and would have to remain in the hospital for several months.   Both brothers wanted to stay with her as much as possible, but both also had to work for a living.

So once their mother was stable, they reluctantly returned to their jobs, to work as best they could.   They would visit their Mother on evenings and weekends.

Now, you can probably imagine how difficult that first week was when Brother One and Brother Two were back at work.

I expect they were so worried about their Mom, they had a hard time concentrating on their tasks.  They were probably often distracted.

In fact, it wouldn’t’ surprise me if  at least one of them would often be found on the the verge of crying while sitting at their desk.

Now, both brother’s bosses knew about their mothers’ situation.   And each boss provided guidance to each brother, in their own special way.

Brother One’s boss showed sympathy, and every day, asked how his mother was doing.   Boss One went easy on Brother One, and did not expect him to work very hard that week.

Brother Two’s boss also showed sympathy on the first day.   But on the 2nd day, Brother Two was reprimanded.   Boss Two told Brother Two he had been chatting too much with another co-worker.

Brother Two was told that he was expected to work so many hours a day, minus lunch and two coffee breaks.    Non-work-related chatting was discouraged.   He was accused of distracting several co-workers, and was told that next time, he should tell the other co-worker to leave his office.

Now, let’s imagine how each brother felt after talking to their boss.

Brother One probably felt a teeny bit little less sad and worried.  His boss probably helped made things a teeny bit better, in their own small way.

Brother Two, on the other hand, probably felt just as sad and worried as before, if not more so.   His boss did not help things at all.  In fact they probably made things worse.

Brother One probably felt a little bit more respect and loyalty or his company.

As for Brother  Two… he probably didn’t know  WHAT to think.   But even if he did, I suspect it would have been some pretty harsh words, not suitable for children’s bed time stories.

The Moral of the Story is…well, there is none.  This is just Life.  Things happen.

But if you were one of the brothers, which boss and which company would YOU rather work for?

I know which one I would.

Explore posts in the same categories: Miss Management

37 Comments on “A Tale of Two Brothers”

  1. Karen JL Says:

    I’m waiting for the day when Brother Two goes on a Viking Rampage at said Widget Factory and chops off a few heads.

    Not that I’d condone it…but I’d understand it. Eeesh.

    “Several months”? Seriously? Man. 😦

  2. Friar Says:

    Yes, the brothers’ mother has a long, long recovery ahead of her.

    It will be interesting to see how each company treats each brother, during all of this.

  3. Brett Legree Says:

    Brother Two has a Viking friend with a very, very sharp axe.

    This friend works for beer.

  4. Brett Legree Says:

    Oh, and the Viking friend has been fucked over by the same company many times.

    He has a long memory.

  5. Friar Says:

    Yes….it’s always good to have friends with sharp axes…to contract your work out to! 🙂

  6. Friar Says:

    There’s an expression: What goes around, comes around.

    Who knows? Maybe it might even be starting to happen right now, on it’s own.

    Wouldn’t that be a small victory for Brother Two?

  7. Kelly Says:


    I’m so sorry! I’ve been worrying while it’s been so quiet. Strength and Godspeed to the brothers’ mom, and hugs all around. Hang in there.

    You know this is one of the things I love (hate) to rail about. As I was reading I was thinking about how much Company One will gain from the small kindnesses toward Brother One: productivity—a long time after Mom is all better he’ll still be working harder to thank them; a much longer stay with the company in an age of job-hopping; word-of-mouth to friends and family; and if the Flibberty-Jibbits sell anything he can purchase himself, he’ll be giving them chunks of his paychecks back for the rest of his days.

    Brother Two is less productive today, and he’ll be resentfully less productive for a long time after Mom is hale and hearty and skiing in BC again; he’ll continue dreaming of exit strategies on their time, and one day he’s going to hit on the exit strategy that satisfies him and leave in a blink; he’ll never recommend that a young widgeteer intern or work there, or that anyone consider partnering with/buying from/helping the Factory grow in any way. He’ll campaign against it. He might even write sad, angry blog posts about it.

    I pity the short-sighted Widget Factory and their top-down foolish philosophies. And I am up in arms for Brother Two. Grrr.



    P.S. If Brother Two ever needs to talk, tell him to email, k?

  8. Brett Legree Says:

    Yes, I have a feeling there are some Viking mercenaries hired by King Stephen, just waiting for the word to start chopping heads…

  9. Friar Says:

    Brother Two would probably appreciate your words of support.

    That’s what some companies don’t GET. All it takes, is to show the bare minimum teeniest amount of compassion, and don’t crack the whip at each and every moment. And it will pay back tenfold, in terms of employee loyalty and dedication.

    As opposed to hitting your staff over the head over minor transgressions like chatting, and enforcing the work-every-minute-you’re-at-your-desk rule. Sure…you might increase productivity..for the next 5 minutes. But watch how long you retain your staff.

    I think King Stephen is looking to get rid of all the incompetent and corrupt earls and barons who have been mismanaging his kingdom. This days are numbered, it seems. Especially with Viking mercenaries lurking just beyond the castle gates, sharpening their battle axes.

  10. Kelly Says:

    Darlin’, even the next five minutes aren’t going to go the way they think. Do you know how many off-topic thoughts you can have in five minutes of being chained to a desk?

    Well, I suspect you do.

    I’m here for you, Friar. As all your devoted minions are, you Cool Kid you.

    Until later,


  11. Friar Says:


    Thanks for being there for me.

    But in case Uncle Big Brother is watching…

    …this isn’t necessariliy about me. It’s a hypothetical story about two brothers and two hypothetical companies.

    ….Right? 😉

  12. Kelly Says:

    Of course. They’re fine young boys, those brothers. But you’re still the Cool Kid. 😉

  13. Friar Says:


    Oh, I am NOT a Cool Kid.

    Cool kids:

    1. Salivate over the phenomenon of Social Media.
    2. Praise each other for doing so
    3. Know better than the rest of us.
    4. Write blog posts discussing all of the above.

    Hopefully, I do NONE of those!

    If I do, I know Eyeteaguy will come down and kick my arse to kingdom come.

  14. Mer Says:

    @ Friar

    Oh, dear. I hope the Brothers’ Mom gets to feeling better faster than anyone expects. I will keep her and Second Brother in my thoughts, send gentle hugs (gentle for Damaged Moms; Second Brother can have the regular kind) and lots of virtual chocolate. I hope they like chocolate…

    ::smacks Second Brother’s Boss upside the head::

    There. I feel better now.

  15. Friar Says:

    I know the Brothers. Their mom is making very rapid progress, and they’re hopeful. But they won’t know the full extent of the injuries till all the rehab people have made their assessments over the coming weeks.

    And thanks for the virtual smack. No doubt Boss Two had it coming. 😉

  16. steph Says:

    Friar: I’ve been insensitive and unthinking. I forgot to ask how your mom was after you told me about her accident and I initially responded. I’m so sorry. How is she? Hopefully very well now?

  17. XUP Says:

    Wishing for a full and speedy recovery for mom. I wonder if Brother Two’s boss’ boorish attitude is a reflection of the company or his alone? Because it’s difficult to believe that a company who’s policy it is to treat employees like dirt could be very productive and/or respected. ((((little hug to both brothers)))

  18. Friar Says:

    Oh, don’t worry about it. I don’t even know if I had told you about it. I haven’t officially mentionned anything, (except to a few people on Twitter, and I know you don’t Twitter).

    Brother Two suspects it might be the company. He’s experienced this type of thing first-hand before, with a totally different boss. And he knows Viking friends, who have experienced even worse treatment.

    The brothers are greatful for the hugs, though.

  19. Peter Says:

    Brother One probably felt a little bit more respect and loyalty for his company.

    I happen to know Brother One. To rephrase your point more accurately, his declining levels of respect and loyalty for Flipperty-Jibbit Inc. have declined at a slower rate in light of his boss’s attitude.

    That said, Boss Two could learn a lesson from Boss One, though Boss Two may prefer a rusty shovel enema instead.

  20. Brett Legree Says:

    How about a rusty chainsaw?

  21. Friar Says:


    I didn’t want to put words into Brother One’s mouth. But I suspected that Boss One’s attitude would have had a slightly positive effect. (Even if it’s to marginally reduce the declining levels of respect that were already occuring).

    At least it didn’t make things worse…

    Oh….OUCH. Even worse than a shovel! 😮

    But still, it would be well-deserved.

  22. Karen JL Says:

    You could draw pictures of Boss Two getting that rusty chainsaw enema. You know…art therapy.

    Just don’t post them here. Methinks it would be too disturbing. 😉

  23. Friar Says:


    Naaah…I don’t like to portray people getting dismembered or disemboweled.

    I’ll leave that to the people who make the videos that Brett likes to occasionaly terrify us with.

  24. Brett Legree Says:

    The chain is lubricated with bubonic plague juice.

    Heh heh when I have “revenge daydreams” they look like this:

  25. Brett Legree Says:

    This one’s shorter but just as bloody…

  26. Friar Says:


    How NICE of you to post these on MY blog! 😉

    Though I suppose if you did that on YOURS, they wouldn’t think of you as the touchy-feely Kilted Wonder Friend now, would they?

  27. Karen JL Says:

    @ Brett – I’m too afraid to press ‘play’. So I’m not.

    @ Friar – Yeah, he’s got a pretty good racket going on doesn’t he? Mr. Touchy-Feely turns into a mad man over here.

  28. Friar Says:


    Well, if it’s any consolation, these videos are “less” disturbing than the ones from a couple of weeks ago.

  29. Friar……..

    oh Friar..

    never mind

    I’m going to e-mail.


    Nice story. It really shows the difference in how companies would profit from treating their employies like human beings and with respect even if their only motivation was to gain financial profit in the end.


  30. Patricia Says:

    I could not watch the videos because I am so worried about the brother’s mum and her recovery…

    and the brother’s recovery and needs….email lines are open any time…

    keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers…

  31. Brett Legree Says:

    The videos were for the amusement of one of the brothers (or perhaps both) – not for everyone, for sure.

    Hey, it may seem like touchy-feely, but remember, Mr. Durden has a nasty side.

  32. Friar Says:

    Your prayer group seemed to be quite successful at helping get Tipper back safe…I’m sure they will also do wonders with the Brother’s Mom. 🙂

    I know at least ONE of the brothers was quite amused by the videos…

    Slowly, but surely, the Dark Side of Brett will come out for all to see.

  33. Friar Says:


    Yeah….E%@%@%@$%@$$@%@%$…pretty much sums up at how one of the brothers felt.

    It’s par for the course, sadly.

    Get back to work….make every hour count for Uncle Big Brother. That’s all that matters.

    Looking forward to your email…

  34. Liz Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mom.

    I know it’s probably little consolation right now but it’s true, what goes out comes back 10 fold. Also, I’ve heard that Xlax brownies get rid of crappy attitudes; just something I read somewhere on the net. LOL

    Take care.

  35. Friar Says:

    The Brothers are taking it one step at a time, regarding their Mom.

    It would be nice to see everything come full circle, one of these days.

    (Though that would require a TRUCKFUL of ExLax is required, I reckon). 🙂

  36. Allison Day Says:

    Sending hugs, cookies, and healing thoughts their way… hopefully the brothers will feel better, and their mom will have a very quick recovery!

  37. Friar Says:

    Cookies! YAAYYYYYYY!! 😀 You can NEVER go wrong with sending cookies!

    Though the hugs and healing thoughts are still appreciated, too).

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