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Mayberry Monday – “Citizen’s Arrest”
January 3, 2011, 9:52 am
Filed under: Mayberry, Notes from Holly | Tags: , , ,

January 3, 2011

Mayberry Monday – “Citizen’s Arrest”
By Holly McLeod, PHR

Have you ever had your words mimicked back at you from your children or other not-so-well-meaning people in your life? I don’t usually like having it happen to me – especially from my children – but I must admit that it’s caused me to think a time or two about how I come across to others. Deputy Barney found out first hand what it’s like to have his words thrown back at him when he gave Gomer Pyle a ticket for making a u-turn.

Barney was feeling pretty good about himself that particular day. He and Sheriff Andy Taylor were going through some old paperwork, when Andy found the custody receipt for Barney’s first revolver that had been issued to him ten years ago. The two were reminiscing about the good times they’d had, and Andy told Barney that he’d been a fine deputy and a true public servant. Yes, Barney must have been feeling at least 5’8” tall when he walked out of the courthouse to take patrol.

Barney was sitting in the patrol car when he saw Gomer Pyle leave the post office and make a u-turn in front of him. Barney turned on his light and siren and pulled Gomer over before he had much of an opportunity to accelerate his truck. Barney told Gomer he had made an illegal u-turn, and Gomer couldn’t believe it when Barney started writing out a ticket. Gomer tried to appeal to Barney by saying they were pals, but Barney was not to be deterred. He gave the $5.00 ticket to Gomer, and Gomer then got angry.

“Try to look at it from my point,” Barney said. “You see, you broke the law… the law must be upheld. Now if I as just plain John Doe, an ordinary citizen, were to see you making a u-turn, I’d have to make a citizen’s arrest.” With that said, Barney got in his squad car and promptly made a u-turn on his way back to the courthouse. Barney hadn’t even had a chance to stop the car before Gomer was running across the street yelling “Citizen’s arrest! Citizen’s arrest!”

A crowd had gathered, and Andy came out to see what was going on. When he realized that Barney had just committed the same act that resulted in Gomer receiving a ticket, Andy instructed Barney to write himself out a ticket. Barney was incensed; however, he did what he was told and wrote himself the ticket – even if it was in a melodramatic manner.

When Andy and Barney got inside the courthouse, Andy offered to pay the $5.00 himself. Barney chose instead to serve the five-day sentence, and he promptly locked himself in one of the jail cells. Andy tried to get Barney to see reason, but when he realized it wasn’t going to happen he left the jail. When Andy returned that evening he thought that perhaps Barney might have changed his mind, but he was still being stubborn.

The next morning when Andy returned, Barney unlocked the cell only to smugly hand Andy his resignation letter. Andy replied in a way that was totally unexpected to Barney; “I accept it.” Andy then left the courthouse and Barney slowly walked back to the cell and closed the door.

Andy’s son Opie went to Wally’s Filling Station where Gomer worked in order to put air in his bike tires. He told Gomer that Barney had quit over the whole citizen’s arrest issue. Next, the phone rang in the courthouse and another prisoner (Otis Campbell, a “regular”) answered the phone. Otis heard the message from the caller and ran out yelling for Andy, saying there had been a hold-up at Wally’s Filling Station.

The squad car came with sirens blaring. Gomer came out of the shop and Andy started questioning him on what had happened in the hold-up. “Didn’t Barney come with you?” Gomer asked. Andy told him no, then proceeded with his questions. “Funny Barney didn’t come with you,” Gomer continued, “this was a job that called for teamwork.” Gomer then explained that he had faked the incident in order to get Barney and Andy together again.

As Gomer was explaining this, Barney came running up with gun in hand. Andy told Barney that Gomer had faked the whole thing. Barney asked Gomer, “Do you realize you committed a 785?” He then proceeded to write out multiple tickets for Gomer, covering the unlawful acts of a 785, a 215, and 923.

Barney handed the tickets to Gomer and got in the squad car, calling for Andy to come. After Andy got in the car Barney promptly made a u-turn as he was leaving. “Citizen’s arrest! Citizen’s arrest!” Gomer yelled after them. Barney just kept on going…

As we begin 2011, take some time to evaluate how you are perceived by your employees. Do you behave the way you expect your employees to behave? Do you exemplify the values you want to see in your staff? Or, do you do as my brother did when he taught me how to drive? I can still hear those immortal words now… “Do as I say, not as I do.”

It’s easy to think, “This is my company. I’ll do what I want to!” However, it might serve you well to be mindful of how your employees perceive you as a boss and employer. If they see you doing and acting like you expect them to, they will be much more inclined to respect your authority. If they see you modeling your company’s values, they will be much more inclined to do the same thing. And, you will be much less likely to hear someone yell “Citizen’s arrest! Citizen’s arrest!”

I hope the new year will be a good one for you, your company and your employees. To channel my inner-Gomer may I say, “Lots of luck to you and yours!” See you in Mayberry next week. Stay tuned…

Mayberry Monday – The Christmas Story
December 20, 2010, 8:00 am
Filed under: Mayberry | Tags:

December 20, 2010

Mayberry Monday – “The Christmas Story”
By Holly McLeod, PHR

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as the song says – especially in Mayberry. Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife were busy reading a Christmas card from the Hubacher brothers, who had sent the card to them from State Prison. While they were reading the card, Aunt Bee called about the Christmas party they had planned for that evening. Andy said he didn’t want to play the part of Santa Claus that year, so it was decided that Barney would have the honor. After Andy got off the phone and told Barney he would be playing Santa, Barney reminded him he wouldn’t be able to go to the party because there were prisoners to guard.

Andy looked at the uncharacteristically full jail cells and thought about this quandary. He rationalized that prisoners are in jail to teach them a lesson, which makes them like students. He further rationalized that Andy and Barney were like teachers and the jail like school, and “everybody knows students get a break from school at Christmas.” Andy released the prisoners with a warning that if they didn’t return to the jail promptly after Christmas, they would be doing a whole lot of staying after school!

After the prisoners left, Ben Weaver walked in with Sam Muggins and said, “Alright, Sheriff, lock him up.” Ben is the owner of Weaver’s Department Store, and he’s known for being a crotchety, ornery and Scrooge-like man. Sam, on the other hand, is a mild-mannered family man who had the misfortune of being caught making moonshine by Ben.

Andy tried to reason with Ben about it being Christmas and all, and he promised that right after Christmas he would arrest Sam and try him strictly according to the law. Ben would have none of it. He told Andy he was going to keep his eye on the jail, and if Sam wasn’t in jail every minute he would report Andy to the State officials.

Later that day Ben saw the patrol car pull up to the jail with a woman and two small children in the back seat. He watched as Andy opened the door and escorted them inside. When Ben got to the courthouse he asked Andy why he brought Sam’s wife and kids to the jail. Andy replied, “I was just doing my sworn duty.” Andy then asked Mrs. Muggins if she knew Sam was making a batch of moonshine. She happily nodded affirmatively that she did. Andy then asked Sam’s daughter if she knew, to which she nodded “yes”, as did Sam’s son. Andy then looked at Ben and said, “If that don’t make them accessories before, during and after the fact, I don’t know what does.”

Ben was still trying to digest what Andy had done when Barney walked in with a Christmas tree, followed by Aunt Bee with a huge turkey, Ellie Walker with eggnog, and Opie with presents. “What’s going on?” Ben demanded. Andy explained that he thought he needed more deputies with all the prisoners. Ellie then flipped up her collar to reveal a badge underneath, Aunt Bee flipped up her coat to show a badge on her skirt, and little Opie proudly held up his badge as well.

The crowd started to sing “Deck the Halls” and Ben angrily walked out. He didn’t get far, though, because he walked to the back of the jail and stood on a crate so he could look in the jail window. Sounds of revelry and laughter permeated the air as Ben looked on longingly.

Before long, Opie came running in the courthouse and told his Paw to come outside. Andy and Ellie walked out to see Ben attempting to steal the courthouse bench. Andy told Ben he would feel bad for locking a fellow up for Christmas, so he told Ben to put the bench back and go home. Ben refused. Andy started to take him to jail, but Ellie talked him out of it because of Christmas.

A little while later Barney came in the jail with Ben in tow, explaining to Andy that Ben had parked his car right in front of a fire plug. Barney had written him a ticket but Ben had torn it up. Andy told Ben that that was contempt of the law and asked Ben if he had a good explanation. “I have.” Ben said. “I’ve got contempt of the law around here.”

Andy explained that he needed to pay the $2.00 fine or it would be two days in jail. Ben chose the two days. Ellie must have been overfilled with Christmas spirit, because once again she came to Ben’s aid and gave Andy $2.00 to pay for Ben’s fine. Ben told Ellie to mind her own business, but Andy had already dismissed the issue and Ben had nothing to do but leave.

Inside the courthouse the party was in full swing. Barney was dressed as a very skinny Santa, the Christmas tree was lit, and Andy got out his guitar to play “Away in a Manger.” Ben was back at the window, peering inside at the festivities. As Andy and Ellie were singing, Ben started mouthing the words to the song along with them.

There was a loud noise outside so Andy went to investigate. He found Ben trying to get back up after having fallen off the crate he was using to look inside the high window. Andy then realized that Ben had been trying to get arrested so he could join the party. Ben needed companionship.

After a while Andy came back in with Ben as a prisoner, who was carrying a suitcase. Andy explained that he had arrested Ben and that he had insisted on getting some of his personal belongings. Andy instructed Santa (Barney) to inspect the suitcase.

Barney opened the suitcase and was surprised as he pulled out a pair of roller skates. Ben said, “Now how did these things get here? I must’ve mistook them for an electric razor.” He then handed the skates to Opie. Ben pulled out a baseball mitt and said, “I must’ve thought that was a pillow.” He gave the mitt to Sam’s son. He then pulled out a doll and gave it to Sam’s daughter. On and on Ben took out items from his suitcase and gave them away until everyone had a present.

Still keeping up the charade for Ben’s benefit, Andy started to escort Ben to his cell. Aunt Bee stopped them and handed Ben a heaping plate of food. Ellie followed by handing him a cup of eggnog. The party happily continued as they all enjoyed being together that Christmas Eve – even crotchety ‘ol Ben Weaver.

Christmas is in five days. It’s easy to forget the joy and warmth of the holiday because we’re too busy with last-minute shopping, getting projects completed at work, and fretting about this and that. You may even find yourself being Scrooge-like (or Ben-like), instead of enjoying the season and all that it means to you. I hope you will slow down long enough to take pleasure in this very special time of year. It’s a time to appreciate those around you – your family, friends, and yes, your employees – and the blessings each one brings you every day.

I hope you’ll make plans to meet me in Mayberry again in January. Until then, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Stay tuned…

Holly McLeod is a Human Resources Manager for Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR) and has more than 15 years of human resources consulting in the corporate world, healthcare and manufacturing environments

“Mayberry Goes Hollywood”
December 9, 2010, 3:29 pm
Filed under: Mayberry, Notes from Holly | Tags: , ,

December 9, 2010

Mayberry Monday – “Mayberry Goes Hollywood”
By Holly McLeod, PHR

As we go to Mayberry this week, we visit at an exciting time when a movie director all the way from Hollywood, CA wanted to film a movie in the quaint southern town. The town council met to vote on the request. They were excited, but some of the members were concerned the movie might depict Mayberry in a negative light and that it would make fun of its people. Mayor Pike asked, “What would they make fun at?” Orville Monroe replied, “At the way we talk, or the way we look, or our little fat mayor.” Mayor Pike wasn’t an exceptionally bright man, so he didn’t seem to notice the jab. After much discussion, however, the council agreed to let Mr. Harmon make his movie only after Sheriff Andy Taylor suggested he take Mr. Harmon on a tour of the town and find out his intentions.

Mr. Harmon was impressed with Mayberry. As Andy walked Mr. Harmon around the town Andy introduced him to some of the citizens, including his Aunt Bee and son Opie, Floyd the Barber, and Orville Monroe, the local funeral parlor director and TV repairman. Andy joked with Mr. Harmon, saying that Orville charges less to bury you than he does to fix your set!

Their walk ended at the old oak tree. Andy reminisced that he used to climb that tree when he was just a boy. Andy then asked Mr. Harmon, “You like the people? You wouldn’t poke fun?” Mr. Harmon assured Andy he would not, saying that the people are charming and natural. Mr. Harmon then left Mayberry to make the arrangements for shooting the movie, which would take place the following week.

Oh, the excitement in Mayberry! As Andy walked down the sidewalk a few days later, he noticed that everyone was changing. The men who usually sat on the bench whittling were now wearing a coat and tie. Every storefront had changed its signage to mention something about Hollywood. The salon was advertising a special on Hollywood hairstyles; Orville Monroe was advertising “Hollywood Funerals,” and Floyd’s Barbershop had become Colby’s Tonsorial Parlor, featuring Cary Grant Haircuts.

When Andy arrived at the courthouse after his walk, Deputy Barney Fife came out of the back room looking more like a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police than a rural deputy – or in Andy’s opinion, Smokey Bear. Barney was wearing the new uniform the mayor had sent over. There was one for Andy too, but Andy said he had no intentions of wearing it.

Andy left to go to a special town council meeting the mayor had called, where he heard the mayor’s plans for the upcoming arrival of Mr. Harmon and his film crew. The Drum and Bugle Corps was scheduled to play, ladies from town would present pies to Mr. Harmon, the mayor’s daughter would sing Flow Gently Sweet Afton, the mayor would make a speech, and the finale would be the downing of the old oak tree – the same tree Andy had talked about with Mr. Harmon.

Andy couldn’t believe his town, saying that everything had changed. “You’ve changed yourselves, your stores, your clothes.” Andy left the meeting in disgust, only to go home and find Aunt Bee and Opie in their Sunday finest. Aunt Bee was wearing a hat and gloves, and little Opie looked freshly bathed and was wearing a suit, bow tie and hat.

The next day Mr. Harmon arrived. The band played, the pies were stacked in Mr. Harmon’s hands, and the mayor’s daughter sang as planned. Mr. Harmon was quietly digesting his surprise at the grand welcome, but spoke up when Mayor Pike told the men to chop down the tree. Mr. Harmon told the men to stop. “What have you done to your town? To yourselves?” he asked. “This tree is part of the picture. And so are all of you – but the way you were when I first met you when I walked around the town with the Sheriff, the way you were when you were natural, genuine and real. That’s what I want in my picture.” The people of Mayberry thought they needed to become something different in order to impress Mr. Harmon, but it was their true, genuine nature that appealed to him.

Many businesses reach out to its customers to let them know they are appreciated and remembered. But what do you think your customers think of your business? Do they know the “real” organization, or are they only familiar with the image you want them to see? It may be tempting to put on a different appearance for others, but remember that most people are drawn to folks who are genuine, honest, and in the words of Mr. Harmon, natural and real.

It’s also important to remember we have internal customers, too – employees and co-workers. So what do you think your internal customers think of you, their employer or supervisor? It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of business and forget simple things such as smiling, thoughtfulness, or common courtesy. Throughout the year, employees need to know they are valued and appreciated. Hopefully the “real you” is someone who makes others feel good about themselves and the work they do on your behalf.

During this holiday season, you might want to ponder how you come across to your employees, and how your business comes across to your customers. If a film was going to be made about you and your business, do you think you would need to change your image, or would you have faith in who you really are and the values you represent? I hope you answered the latter, because Mr. Harmon (and your customers) might be disappointed if they find out otherwise.

Until next week, stay tuned…

Holly McLeod is a Human Resources Manager for Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR) and has more than 15 years of human resources consulting in the corporate world, healthcare and manufacturing environments

Mayberry Monday – “Only a Rose”
December 1, 2010, 3:59 pm
Filed under: Mayberry | Tags: , , , ,

November 29(30), 2010

Mayberry Monday – “Only a Rose”
By Holly McLeod, PHR

A survey by The Hobby Industry Association found that 77% of surveyed households reported that at least one member engaged in a craft or hobby. That statistic certainly holds true for my household. My husband has been involved with model railroading since he was a young boy. The older he gets, the bigger and more intricate the layout gets. But there are countless forms of hobbies; reading (my favorite), sewing, scrapbooking, candle making, woodworking, restoring automobiles, boating… the list goes on and on.

I think most fans of The Andy Griffith Show would agree that Andy Taylor’s favorite hobby was fishing. Barney Fife liked to think he was an expert in Judo. And Aunt Bee? Well, we know she liked to cook and clean. She also liked to make homemade pickles and marmalade. However, there was one more hobby she enjoyed – growing roses.

Aunt Bee and her friend Clara Edwards were members of the Mayberry Garden Club, and it was time for the annual flower show. Aunt Bee had tried for years to grow the perfect hybrid rose, but repeatedly got beaten by Clara’s hybrid she named Snow Valley White. This particular year the sponsor of the event, Simmons Seeds, was going to put the winning hybrid rose in their catalog, along with the name and picture of the winner.

Clara believed she would easily win as always, but what she didn’t know was that Aunt Bee had been working on her own hybrid for over a year. Aunt Bee had daringly cross-pollinated a Mrs. Pinkney Variegated Red with an Alma Swarthout Sunset Pink. It was due to bloom just before the contest.

The rose bloomed beautifully. Aunt Bee, Andy and his son Opie were admiring it in the back yard, when it was decided they would take pictures of the flower. Andy left to get his camera at the courthouse and Aunt Bee left to go register for the contest. Only Opie was left in the yard, who was climbing a tire swing when his friend Billy came over with a football.

They passed the ball back and forth between them. Apparently Opie wasn’t an excellent thrower, because he kept Billy reaching for the trees. They had decided to go somewhere else to play when Opie decided to throw one more pass. As you might have already guessed, the ball made a direct hit with Aunt Bee’s rose. The poor rose hung there sadly while Opie tried to hide his mistake by taping it back together.

His ruse worked for a while, but by the morning of the contest the flower was brown and wilted. Aunt Bee was understandably upset, but knew it was an accident and immediately forgave Opie for breaking her prize flower.

They all dressed and went to the flower show. Clara was sitting behind Aunt Bee and started to gloat about Bee not having a flower to enter, until Andy spoke up and told her the flower had accidentally been destroyed. Just as Clara found this out, Opie came running in with a present for Aunt Bee – an enlarged picture of her beautiful rose that had been taken by Andy on the day of the football accident.

Naturally, Clara’s rose was announced as the winner. As she rose to accept her award Clara asked Aunt Bee if she could borrow the picture of the rose. I’ve said before that I don’t care much for Clara most of the time, but some times she has redeeming qualities. This was one of those times. As she was accepting the blue ribbon for her rose, Clara announced that Aunt Bee’s rose had been destroyed but that it had lived up to its name – Deep Pink Ecstasy – and that “a rose such as this has no rival.” She then placed the blue ribbon on the picture of Aunt Bee’s rose, and Aunt Bee was declared winner.

The roses were important to both Clara and Aunt Bee, but not enough to destroy their friendship. In the end they both realized that a contest is just a contest and that it should never interfere with their lifelong friendship that started way back at Sweetbriar Normal School, when Aunt Bee was the backbone of the basketball team and Clara was the best dribbler.
How often do we let goals and pursuits interfere with our relationships? Have you ever placed more value on things than people? As business owners it’s easy to focus solely on the end goal – especially in the current economic era. Doing so, however, could negatively affect the culture, camaraderie, disposition, loyalty and trust of your staff if more value is placed on the bottom line than on those that make your business function.
Sometimes all it takes is a genuine expression of gratitude. Adam Grant, a management professor at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, stated, “Gratitude expressions from managers can help employees feel valued, strengthening their relationships. When employees feel socially valued, they work harder and longer, achieving higher performance and productivity.”
Of course the bottom line is vital for survival, and business goals are imperative for successful growth. But remember, you hire employees to keep your business going; employees accept the job to keep their households going. The ultimate bottom line is that you need each other.

For Aunt Bee and Clara, growing the best rose and winning the contest became more important than their friendship. They learned a valuable lesson when they realized their relationship was much more important than winning any contest. As we have now entered the holiday season, I encourage you to be thankful for your staff and to be mindful of what’s most important. If you have any doubts on what is most important to you, just ask yourself, “What is my rose?”

See you next week in Mayberry. Stay tuned…Holly McLeod is a Human Resources Manager for Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR) and has more than 15 years of human resources consulting in the corporate world, healthcare and manufacturing environments

Mayberry Monday – “The Bed Jacket”
November 22, 2010, 6:18 pm
Filed under: Mayberry, Notes from Holly

November 22, 2010

Mayberry Monday – “The Bed Jacket”
By Holly McLeod, PHR

There are many facets to Andy Griffith. He is a great friend, an understanding and patient boss, a talented musician, a loving father, a practical joker at times, and a trusted leader in Mayberry. He is also fiercely devoted to his family.

Andy and his son Opie were fishing one morning, and Andy was catching fish after fish after fish. Opie commented on how many fish they were catching, and Andy replied that Eagle Eye Annie was doing herself proud that day. Eagle Eye Annie was the name of Andy’s fishing pole, and Andy and Opie spoke of “her” as if she was a dear and precious to friend.

Mayor Stoner walked up to their fishing spot on his way home, tired and frustrated because he had not been able to catch any fish. If you’ve read other Mayberry Mondays, you may recall that Stoner is the mayor I don’t like because of his obvious disdain for Andy and all things fun.

Stoner commented that it was a waste of time because the fish weren’t biting. As he was saying this, Andy cast his line into the water and almost immediately gets a bite. Opie said, “Ol’ Eagle Eye Annie did it again.” Stoner looked in Andy’s basket and saw all the fish. “You got all those today?” he asked. Opie told the mayor that they could catch even more with Eagle Eye Annie. After the mayor asked who he was talking about, Andy explained that Eagle Eye Annie was his fishing rod.

Being duly impressed with Andy’s results with Eagle Eye Annie, Stoner promptly tried to buy the rod for $20.00. Andy declined the offer. Stoner then offered $25.00, to which Andy also politely declined. Stoner walked off, only to return a few moments later with a final offer of $27.50. Naturally, Andy turned it down.

As Andy and Opie left the fishing spot they began talking about plans for Aunt Bee’s birthday, which was coming up the very next day. When they got home they carefully hung their fishing rods on their proper places of honor on the wall, and Aunt Bee came in and asked to ride to town with Andy and Opie. Knowing that Andy would be shopping for her birthday gift, Aunt Bee told Andy she would be upset if he did anything foolish about her birthday. She wanted him to be sensible.

When they got to town, Andy and Opie went off to do their shopping and Aunt Bee started window shopping. For those of you who may not be familiar with the term, window shopping is when you “shop” by looking in the storefront windows instead of actually entering the stores. I have pleasant memories of window shopping with my mother when I was a little girl, going from storefront to storefront looking inside the shops as we used to walk along the sidewalks of my hometown.

When Aunt Bee was window shopping, she had only gotten to the second store before she saw something that caught her eye; a beautiful, white bed jacket hanging in the window. Modern-day bed jackets look like simple short jackets worn over pajamas; or, as a colleague pointed out, “kind of the female version of a smoking jacket for guys.” In the 1960’s, however, bed jackets were apparently very fancy.

Aunt Bee looked at the bed jacket longingly, and headed off down the sidewalk. She didn’t get far, though, before she turned around to look at it again. She decided to enter the shop – Lucken’s Style Shop – and Mrs. Luckens took the bed jacket down and held it up to Aunt Bee. Aunt Bee gave a look that indicated she knew the jacket was much too extravagant, then returned the jacket back to Mrs. Luckens and left the shop.

While this was going on, Andy and Opie were at another store – a practical store. Opie picked out salt and paper shakers for Aunt Bee’s present, and Andy decided on two dozen preserving jars. What woman wouldn’t want two dozen preserving jars, right? Oh well, at least Andy’s heart was in the right place.

When Andy met back up with Aunt Bee, it was right in front of Mrs. Luckens’ store. Aunt Bee did her very best to hint to Andy about the bed jacket, but Andy didn’t catch the hints. Instead, he left to go finish some paperwork he was preparing for Mayor Stoner. As the mayor was leaving the office after looking over and complaining about Andy’s paperwork, he asked Andy to do him a favor and return the guest towels he had bought his wife, in exchange for the bed jacket hanging in the window. Andy went to do this favor and as you might guess, Aunt Bee was across the street and saw the exchange. Naturally, she thought he was buying the jacket for her birthday since she had practically drooled over it in front of him that very morning.

The next day was the big day. Aunt Bee opened Opie’s salt and pepper shakers, then with very shaky hands tried to unwrap Andy’s gift. When she opened the box and saw the preserving jars, the disappointment in her face was obvious. She was so disappointed that she fled the room to avoid crying in front of Andy and Opie.

Andy was perplexed at Aunt Bee’s behavior until Aunt Bee’s friend Clara rang the doorbell. Clara had been with Bee when they watched Andy purchase the bed jacket, so she stopped by to see it on her friend. Knowing now how much the bed jacket meant to Aunt Bee, Andy knew what he had to do. He raced to the store to purchase the jacket, only to find out the one the mayor bought had been the only one in stock. Andy then went to the mayor’s house to try to purchase the jacket from him.

Mayor Stoner knew he had something that Andy wanted, and he also knew that Andy had something he wanted; Eagle Eye Annie. Stoner told Andy that they might be able to make a mutual deal – “I’ll sell something to you, and you sell something to me.”

Back at the house, Andy came in with a brand new wrapped box that he gave to Aunt Bee. She opened the gift and found the bed jacket she had so badly wanted. As she was gushing about the jacket and calling Clara to share the news, Opie came in the room and went to get the fishing rods off of the wall. After he hopped up in a chair to reach them, he realized that Eagle Eye Annie was missing.

Andy went over to Opie and whispered that he had sold the rod to the mayor. Opie couldn’t believe it. “You sold it? But you said you’d never sell it.” he said. Andy quietly explained to Opie, “I said I kept it ‘cause it gave me so much enjoyment, and that I wouldn’t sell it for money. And I didn’t sell it for money. I just kinda swapped it for a different kind of enjoyment. So, Eagle Eye Annie’s doing just what she did before. Even right now she’s giving me pleasure… real heart-warming pleasure.”

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I hope you’ll take time to give thanks for all of the people who make life worth living. Be thankful for your family, your friends, your colleagues, your employees, and your neighbors. Give special thanks for those whom you would gladly give up your own Eagle Eye Annie in order to make happy. Those are the ones we should cherish.

Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope to see all of you in Mayberry again next week. Stay tuned…

Holly McLeod is a Human Resources Manager for Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR) and has more than 15 years of human resources consulting in the corporate world, healthcare and manufacturing environments

Mayberry Monday – Andy the Marriage Counselor

November 15, 2010

Mayberry Monday – “Andy the Marriage Counselor”
By Holly McLeod, PHR

Last week I wrote about a bitter feud between two Mayberry families that had been going on for 87 years. Sheriff Andy Taylor, as always, found a way to get through to the two stubborn patriarchs so that they would allow their respective young’uns to get married and live happily ever after. Andy always had a knack for getting others to do what they should, even if it’s not what they originally wanted. This week in Mayberry is no different.

Relatively new to Mayberry, Fred and Jennie Boone had made friends with many of the townspeople. The problem was that they couldn’t stand each other. Andy and Deputy Barney Fife had been forced to visit the Boones’ a few times for disturbing the peace, and this time the yelling and screaming could be heard long before they approached the home. They entered the house and had to duck low to avoid the plates and saucers being thrown across the room by Mrs. Boone.

As soon as the Boones realized they had company, both Fred and Jennie immediately changed their disposition with a friendly “Hello, Andy!” Andy told them he wanted them to quit arguing, but after a biting comment from each of them toward the other one, they were at it again – with Andy in between. Andy had had enough. He told them that the next time this happened he was going to arrest them.

The next day Barney brought the Boones to the jail while both were still loudly arguing with each other. He had heard them while on patrol first thing that morning and asked them, “Don’t you even stop for breakfast?” He told Andy to “throw the book at ‘em.” “It wouldn’t do any good,” Andy replied, “Jennie would just pick it up and throw it at Fred.”

Andy told the Boones that ever since they moved to town that they got along with everybody else just fine, they just couldn’t get along with one another. He asked them what started their fight that morning. Fred said it was at breakfast – if you could call it that. Jennie said that Fred had thrown his plate of food on the floor. Fred replied, “Food? That slop wasn’t fit for the hogs.” Jennie said, “Oh, it was fit for the hogs. That’s why I give it to you!” They both start yelling all over again.

Andy realized the problem; the Boones were in the habit of arguing with each other. It came naturally to them because that’s how they had learned to communicate with each other. He decided to try an experiment, and he had the Boones sit across from each other and practice talking civilly. They weren’t very successful in thinking up something nice to say, so Andy coached them. He told Fred to say to Jennie, “Mornin’, Honey.” He then told Jennie to say to Fred, “Mornin’, Dear.” They uncomfortably practiced this a few times until Barney said, “I’d rather be called Skunk Face than Honey like that.” Andy told the Boones that is wasn’t bad for starters, but that he wanted them back in the court house to practice every morning for 15 minutes. They protested, but he said it was either that or jail. As the Boones were leaving, Andy still had them practicing… “Mornin’, Dear.” “Mornin’, Honey.”

The Boones were faithful to their early morning lessons, and eventually got to the point where it wasn’t so painful to be nice to each other. Their whole demeanor had changed. No longer did they yell, scream, nag, holler and throw things; now they were actually polite to each other. Unfortunately, their previous friendliness toward the townspeople began to sour.

They snapped at Barney as they left the court house; Fred snapped at his friends at a card game; Jennie snapped at Aunt Bee. Andy realized that the Boones were fine around each other, but thought that maybe they could only be happy when they’re picking at each other, and that perhaps that’s the way they showed their love for one another. Weird, I know, but it was in the script.

A gentleman showed up at Andy’s house with a bloody nose and said that Fred had punched him while they were playing cards. He told Andy he had gotten out just in time to dodge a pitcher of water. Just then another gentleman came in holding his head, saying, “I got the pitcher of water.” That’s all Andy needed to hear. He made a decision then headed to the Boones’.

When he got to their house, it was very peaceful from the outside. Both Fred and Jennie were unfriendly to Andy (while being syrupy sweet to each other). Andy told the Boones they had done so well in their lessons that he wanted to have a graduation ceremony. He poured cider and then made a toast; “We’re gathered here this evening to mark the beginnings of a new life. A life of peace and quiet and getting along, the beauty and joy of which you now know and I’m sure ain’t ever gonna forget. To you, Jennie, who made all this possible when you stopped needling and riding and railing and harassing and nagging poor Fred. And to you, Fred, who made all this happy life possible when you stopped coming home all mean and nasty and ornery. To whoever was the worst.”

You can imagine that this set off all sorts of accusations between Fred and Jennie, and within minutes they were back to the yelling, screaming and name-calling. But this is what Andy had wanted. I guess he thought that the two of them fighting each other was better than both of them fighting the rest of the town. Too bad, though, because his plan would have worked if the Boones hadn’t displaced their angry habits toward other targets.

As stated last week, helping others resolve a conflict is seldom easy; however, it can be successfully achieved. The key is to keep pointing the parties toward the desired goal. Andy did this to begin with, but instead of then helping the Boones stop displaying anger altogether, he gave up and led them back toward their old ways of arguing with each other. In effect, he chose the lesser of two evils.

It doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible to resolve conflict in a very short period of time. In some situations, however, it requires a lot of dedication, effort and time. I don’t think Andy should have given up so easily on the Boones. But then again, he did all he could do within a 30-minute episode. I choose to believe that Andy would have persevered and eventually gotten the Boones to be nice to their fellow Mayberrians as well as to each other, had he been given an extended 1-hour episode to do it in.

See you next week. Stay tuned…

Holly McLeod is a Human Resources Manager for Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR) and has more than 15 years of human resources consulting in the corporate world, healthcare and manufacturing environments

Mayberry Monday – “A Feud Is A Feud”

November 8, 2010

Mayberry Monday – “A Feud Is A Feud”
By Holly McLeod, PHR

A young couple rang the doorbell in the wee hours of the morning. Inside the house, Aunt Bee is busy putting a striped nightshirt and cap over the pajamas of her nephew, Sheriff and Justice of the Peace, Andy Taylor. Andy’s young son Opie asked why Andy had to wear the gown and cap and Aunt Bee explained, “When people come to the Justice of the Peace in the middle of the night to get married, they expect him to look like this. It makes for good talking afterwards.”

The young couple was Josh and Hannah. As soon as Andy started the ceremony, a man came running in the house wielding a shotgun. Just as Andy was stating he somehow got the impression that the man didn’t want the two young people getting married, another gun-toting man came running in as well. Andy had only glanced at the marriage license, but quickly realized these two men were Mr. Wakefield and Mr. Carter, whose families had been carrying on a feud for four generations. 87 years, to be exact.

Andy said he didn’t want any feuding going on, and the two uninvited guests grabbed their respective offspring and left the house. The next morning Andy was met with a cool reception by Aunt Bee and Opie, who thought he should have married Josh and Hannah. Opie said, “You let them scare you, Paw. If they wanted hitching, it was up to you to hitch ‘em. Why didn’t you hitch ‘em, Paw?”

Andy told Opie he had wondered what would happen after the hitching, and explained that this wasn’t the first time “despising families had their young’uns take to one another.” He then told Opie the story of Romeo and Juliet. Now I must say if you haven’t heard Andy Griffith recite the story of Romeo and Juliet, you’ve missed a treat. In the story Andy explains a soliloquy as “when you kinda look way off and talk to yourself,” saying, “They did that a whole lot back then. You do it today, and somebody’ll take you away.” Andy explained to Opie that before he married Josh and Hannah, he wanted to make sure everything was OK between the two families. He then set out to try to end the feud.

Andy first went to see Mr. Wakefield. As he drove up to the house he heard gunshots. He went to the front porch of the house and saw Mr. Wakefield sitting in a rocking chair, periodically raising his gun and shooting off into the distance. “Are you doing feudin’ shootin’ or huntin’ shootin’,” Andy asked. “Feudin’ shootin’,” Mr. Wakefield replied. Andy told Mr. Wakefield that he must have a pair of mighty sharp eyes, because he didn’t see any Carters. “You don’t?” Mr. Wakefield replied, “I was afraid of that.”

Andy tried to discover the reason for the 87-year-old feud, but realized he wasn’t going to get the answer from Mr. Wakefield. The reason for this is because Mr. Wakefield didn’t know the reason for the feud. Nor had his Daddy, nor had his Daddy’s Daddy. Andy told Mr. Wakefield that if he was going to take a shot at a fellow, it would pass his mind to ask what for! Mr. Wakefield said, “I’ll be danged if I know where you young folks get all them new-fangled ideas.”

Andy next went to see Mr. Carter, hoping Mr. Carter could shed some light on the initial reason for their long-standing feud. Here’s their conversation:

Mr. Carter: “Reason? Of course I know the reason I’m shooting at him – ‘cause he’s a
Andy: “What does that mean to you?”
Mr. Carter: “It means I gotta shoot at him.”
Andy: “Why do you have to shoot at him?”
Mr. Carter: “’Cause he’s a Wakefield.”
Andy: “Why do you have to shoot at the Wakefields?”
Mr. Carter: “’Cause we’re feuding.”
Andy: “Why are you feuding?”
Mr. Carter: “’Cause he’s a Wakefield.”
Andy: “I don’t believe you’re understanding me. Let’s start all over again… I
wanna know why you’re feuding with the Wakefields.”
Mr. Carter: “Oooohhhh! “Cause we’re shooting at each other.”
Andy: “Why are you shooting at each other?”
Mr. Carter: “’Cause he’s a Wakefield.”

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re trying to get to the bottom of a workplace conflict, and you felt just as confused and frustrated as Andy must have felt? Trying to resolve employee conflict is seldom easy, but sometimes can be downright difficult. Andy was showing great patience in speaking with Mr. Carter, but still didn’t get his questions answered. Sometimes employees will provide meaningful and useful explanations, and sometimes they may provide answers that make sense only to them.

It’s important to keep your patience in tact when you find yourself in a potentially frustrating situation like Andy did. Keep in mind that the end goal is to get the two “feuding” parties to a place where they can cohesively work together. Try to get each of them to collaborate with the other party and come to an agreement on moving forward. Employees don’t have to like each other, but they must be able to work together in a mature, professional and respectful manner.

The Wakefields and Carters didn’t work with each other, but they certainly had a common interest; their children. In the end, Andy was able to find a way to end the feud and bring the two families together so that Josh and Hannah could get married and raise the next generation of Wakefields and Carters. Wouldn’t it be nice if your feuding employees would put aside their differences and work toward your common goal? They can with your guidance, patience and help. The Wakefields and Carters of the world need you. And as much as you might like to think otherwise, you probably need them.

See you next week. Stay tuned…

Holly McLeod is a Human Resources Manager for Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR) and has more than 15 years of human resources consulting in the corporate world, healthcare and manufacturing environments

Mayberry Monday – “Call the Man”
November 1, 2010, 9:31 am
Filed under: Mayberry | Tags: , , ,

November 1, 2010

Mayberry Monday – “Call the Man!”
By Holly McLeod, PHR

It doesn’t happen often, but I must admit there are times when Aunt Bee truly grates on my nerves. One of the most exasperating experiences I’ve had watching The Andy Griffith Show is in the episode “Bargain Day.” In this episode, Aunt Bee won’t listen to Andy and do as she is told. Rather, she insists on doing things her own way, which ends up being a big waste of time and effort. If she would simply listen to Andy, life would be much less stressful; but alas, it was not to be.

It was a hot, sticky summer morning and Andy came into the kitchen saying it was going to be another hot day. Andy’s son Opie walked in wearing some very squeaky shoes that were a half-inch too long. Aunt Bee explained she had gotten them for $4.89 (instead of the usual $6.50) from an outlet store in Mt. Pilot that sold discontinued models. Aunt Bee wasn’t worried about the shoes being too big for Opie; she had saved $1.61.

When Opie asked his Paw to pass the sugar, Andy saw that the sugar bowl was empty. Aunt Bee got up to refill the bowl and came back to the table with a huge sack. The sack was so large, in fact, that she had trouble controlling the sugar pouring out of it and sugar poured over the edges of the bowl and onto the table. Aunt Bee explained that buying such a large sack was “more economical.”

Andy told Aunt Bee that “a bargain’s not always a bargain,” and the discussion led to the old freezer on the back porch. Aunt Bee was adamant that in purchasing that freezer she got the biggest bargain in the whole auction. But Andy said the only thing that’s been kept in the freezer was a dead mouse – and he climbed in there to get warm.

Aunt Bee was in town shopping later that day and ran in to her well-meaning friend, Clara Edwards. Clara told her about a new butcher in town who was selling beef for ten cents cheaper per pound than Foley’s Market. The only catch was that you had to buy a whole side of beef. Knowing she had the freezer just waiting to be used, Aunt Bee couldn’t resist such a bargain and she loaded up the old freezer with 150 pounds of beef.

Normally, one would think a person would confirm their freezer was actually working prior to purchasing and loading 150 pounds of meat inside. But Aunt Bee wasn’t normal… No, she stocked the freezer full before plugging it in. Fortunately it did come to life, but was violently shaking and rattling. She withheld a pot roast for supper, hoping to surprise Andy with her purchase.

When Andy got home that evening, Aunt Bee proudly served her roast and eagerly watched as Andy took his first bite. He put the bite in his mouth, frowned a little, then started talking to Opie about having seen one of his friends that day. Aunt Bee told him he hadn’t said anything about the roast, and Andy said, “I wasn’t going to, but it is a little tough, isn’t it? Foley really let you down this time. You should speak to him.”

Aunt Bee was crushed. She quickly rose from the table and went into the kitchen. Andy followed her to see what was wrong, and the lights started going on and off. Opie then ran into the kitchen saying the television was going crazy and the picture was crooked. The lights flickered once more, and Andy heard squeaking coming from the back porch. He went out to the porch and was surprised to see the freezer plugged in and running. He tried to open the freezer to look inside, but Aunt Bee quickly shut the lid and wouldn’t let him look. Andy asked what was in the freezer and Aunt Bee had no choice but to admit to her purchase – “150 pounds of beef. 150 pounds of tough beef!”

When Aunt Bee was explaining that she had bought the beef from the new butcher, the freezer suddenly stopped. Then it started. Then it stopped again. Andy told Aunt Bee she needed to call the man from Mt. Pilot to come fix the freezer. Aunt Bee said that man charged a fortune to look at the refrigerator — $7.00 just to replace a fuse. Andy was tired of Aunt Bee’s “bargains.”

Andy: “Call the man.”
Aunt Bee: “Can’t we call somebody around here?”
Andy: “No, there’s nobody around here.”
Aunt Bee: “Somebody who wouldn’t rob us like that man from Mt. Pilot?”
Andy: “There are no freezer mechanics around here. Now, call the man.”
Aunt Bee: “How about Fred, who works for Louise Palmer? He’s very
Andy: “Aunt Bee, he don’t know anything about freezers. Now call the man!”
Aunt Bee: “Well, he helped me fix a clothes line once…”
Andy: “Aunt Bee, just call the man. Call the man!”

If I was told five times during one conversation to do something, I think I would get the hint — but not Aunt Bee. After Andy left, she called Gomer Pyle to come look at the freezer. Gomer is the local mechanic, but hasn’t been known to dwell too far outside the realm of automobiles. The only thing Gomer succeed in doing was to make the freezer leak out all of its antifreeze onto the porch.

Aunt Bee went to Foley’s Market to speak to Mr. Foley. She asked, on behalf of a “friend,” if her friend could store some meat in his freezer. Mr. Foley knew Aunt Bee had bought the meat from his competitor, but he graciously told Aunt Bee he would be happy to store her meat. She went home and, with Opie’s help, loaded all of the beef in to Opie’s wagon and started rolling it to Foley’s. Little did she know she would be confronted by every dog in town along the way!

When Andy heard the yapping dogs from his office, he went outside and asked her what she was doing. She explained that Mr. Foley had agreed to store the meat. Andy said he wouldn’t allow Mr. Foley to pay for their mistake, and that she was going to have to call the man from Mt. Pilot like she should’ve done from the beginning. In exasperation, Andy repeated, “Call the man!” Aunt Bee started walking away and looked back toward Andy as if she was about to come up with another solution. Andy didn’t give her the opportunity. “CALL THE MAN!” he yelled one final time.

With every argument from Aunt Bee, I can physically feel my frustration building with Andy’s:

Why won’t she just do what she is told?
Why won’t my children clean their rooms?
Why won’t my husband do that thing on the Honey-Do list he promised to do?
Why won’t other people do things like I would do them?

Do you ever feel that way about your employees? Perhaps you have someone on your team that’s a free-thinker and marches to the beat of their own drum instead of the beat you’ve already established; Perhaps you have someone who insists on doing things a particular way, and who sincerely believes they are acting in your best interest; Perhaps you have someone who seemingly argues at every turn, never satisfied with status quo, but who wants to “shake things up” and do things differently…

While you might feel your temper rising, your pulse beating harder and your breaths coming quicker in these situations, it is good to remember that not all behavior you may consider defiant is necessarily bad. Aunt Bee’s only “crime” was trying to save Andy’s money. Yes, she was very frustrating in her quest, but her intentions were good. It might be that the employee who tries your patience the most is one of your company’s biggest assets.

The next time you find yourself getting frustrated and angry when your challenging employee again argues another point with you, it may be time to step back and consider his viewpoint. Ask yourself: What is he trying to accomplish? What are his motives? What would be the harm in trying things his way? What might we gain from it? In doing so, you may determine that the other person’s argument is not only valid, but valuable.

By the way, this episode (like many) is the origin for some common-speak terminology in our house. If ever it is decided that a professional needs to be consulted for anything we can’t fix ourselves – a broken washing machine, A/C unit or, like now, a broken car – all we have to say is “Call the man!”

Hope to see you in Mayberry again next week. Stay tuned…

Holly McLeod is a Human Resources Manager for Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR) and has more than 15 years of human resources consulting in the corporate world, healthcare and manufacturing environments

Mayberry Monday – “Black Day for Mayberry”
October 25, 2010, 12:23 pm
Filed under: Landrum, Mayberry | Tags: , , , , ,

October 25, 2010

Mayberry Monday – “Black Day for Mayberry”
By Holly McLeod, PHR

One day Deputy Barney Fife was in the courthouse admiring himself in the mirror, when two gentlemen walked in asking if the Sheriff was around. Barney explained that the Sheriff was out at the moment and repeatedly offered to assist the men, but they politely refused. Instead, the men patiently waited for Sheriff Andy Taylor to arrive. Much to Barney’s chagrin, when Andy got to the office the two secretive men asked to speak to Andy privately. Barney had no choice but to leave and allow the discussion to take place without him.

After the men left, Andy told Barney what all the secrecy had been about – the men were from the Treasury Department, and there was going to be a shipment of gold coming through Mayberry worth over $7 million. The truck was going to stop at the “fillin’ station” to refuel, and the FBI men accompanying the gold would be going to the diner to eat. Barney was very excited about the news, but Andy made one rule very loud and clear; they couldn’t tell anyone about the gold. Andy told Barney they had to do two things; 1) maintain absolute secrecy, and 2) anticipate every possible threat, and guard against it.

Andy left to attend to plans, and Barney was left alone to make his own plans… a dangerous event in any situation. The first thing Barney did was to call the Bluebird Diner to break his date with Juanita. His side of the conversation went something like this: “Something’s come up. Something big… No, nothing like that… You’d never guess this… No, this has something to do with a truck… a truck that’s coming through here tomorrow… Alright, I’ll give you a little hint… it’s worth $7 million… A rocket? No, you’re gold. Cold! I said you’re cold. Ignore what I said about gold!… Did you get that? I DID NOT SAY GOLD!”

Barney then went to the hotel to ask Asa if there were any suspicious characters hanging around. While Barney was scanning the lobby, Asa asked Barney what time the gold shipment was coming through. Barney froze. “What gold? What are you talking about?” Asa told him the news was all over town. In a panic, Barney left the hotel to head back to the courthouse. As he was leaving the hotel, some boys were hanging out on the front stoop and they also asked Barney what time the gold was coming through. Barney walked faster and faster, and each time he passed someone he was asked about the gold shipment.

When Andy came in the office a little while later, Barney was obviously jumpy and nervous. Barney told Andy he had the feeling that maybe the news had leaked out and that they were “gonna blow it.” Andy asked him why he felt that way, then said, “Nobody knows about it but you and me. Relax, Barney. This is our secret.”

When they went to the fillin’ station to check out the security, Gomer Pyle came out and asked what time the gold truck was coming through. Andy said, “Barney! I told you not to tell him!” Gomer said, “Barney didn’t tell me. I got it from Lauralee Hobbs up at the dime store.” Andy looked at Barney and said, “Yeah, it looks like it leaked out alright.” Barney told Andy he had better stop the truck. Andy said he couldn’t stop it because it had already left. He then said, “Somewhere between here and Denver there’s $7 million headed for Mayberry, and you and me and Gomer and Lauralee Hobbs, we’re gonna be here to receive it!”

The next day came with much excitement around Mayberry. A virtual parade of people was lining the street. Andy drove up to the crowd, quickly followed by the gold truck. Andy told everyone to go home, and the convoy proceeded to the fillin’ station as planned. When they got there, Andy told Barney to get in the truck to relieve the guard while he went to eat. After Barney was safely in the truck, Andy went off to disperse another crowd that had gathered.

While Barney was in the truck, he couldn’t resist looking at the gold. He poked underneath a blanket and slowly brought out a rectangular box. He opened the lid, but to his surprise he didn’t find gold. Instead of a brick of precious metal he had expected to see, he found the box filled with sand.

Barney thought the truck had been hijacked, and immediately started yelling for help. Andy was still talking with the crowd, but the FBI men quickly showed up when they heard Barney yelling. The men didn’t open the doors to check on Barney; they got in the truck and drove away – with Barney still inside.

When Andy realized the truck had left with Barney, he and Gomer got in the squad car to chase down the speeding truck. When they were able to get the truck to pull over, Gomer went to get Barney out of the back while Andy spoke with the men in the front of the truck. Barney was still trying to gather his wits when the truck pulled out for a final time. Andy explained that there had never been any gold in the truck; it was a decoy. Andy said that had been their plan all along – “to let folks think that was the truck with the gold in it, while the real truck went by a different route.”

There are a few lessons that can be learned from Mayberry’s encounter with the “gold” truck: First, transparency: Transparency means to be open and honest with whom you are dealing. In this case, neither the Treasury Department representatives nor the FBI men were transparent with Andy. As a result, their plans went awry and could have resulted in serious repercussions when Barney discovered that the truck was not carrying real gold. After all, we all know how trigger happy Barney can be.

Second, communication: Communication ran amuck in Mayberry. The directive to keep the gold shipment secret was not honored by Barney. Perhaps Andy wasn’t clear enough in his directions, but the reality was that Barney was loose-lipped. Sometimes we are entrusted with confidential information, and it’s very important that we honor that trust and not divulge it to those who have no need to know. I can only hope that Barney learned a valuable lesson on that day, but I have my doubts.

The third lesson from this debacle: Don’t trust Barney with a secret! Nor Juanita… nor Asa… nor Gomer… nor Lauralee Hobbs.

See you next week! Stay tuned…
Holly McLeod is a Human Resources Manager for Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR) and has more than 15 years of human resources consulting in the corporate world, healthcare and manufacturing environments

The Pickle Story

October 18, 2010

Mayberry Monday – The Pickle Story
By Holly McLeod, PHR

If you ask any fan of The Andy Griffith Show what their top five episodes are, I’d dare say that most of them would include “The Pickle Story.” This is one of the few times in Mayberry history when Aunt Bee’s cooking wasn’t exactly something to brag about, and also one of the few times I can recall when Clara Johnson (aka Edwards) was somewhat likeable…

One morning Aunt Bee was in the kitchen bottling pickles for her family, Sheriff Andy Taylor and his son Opie, and in walked her friend Clara Johnson. Clara came bearing the gift of a bottle of her own homemade pickles for Opie. Aunt Bee told Clara she had the best pickles, and recognized that Clara had won the blue ribbon at the fair for 10 years in a row. Clara corrected her, saying it had been 11 years.

Clara insisted on tasting one of Aunt Bee’s pickles, and the look on her face said it all – Aunt Bee’s pickles were not good. However, she told Aunt Bee they were “very nice… quite pleasant… and nice.” She told Aunt Bee she wouldn’t change a single thing “except the brine is just a touch too heavy, and maybe put an extra sprig or 2 of parsley steeped in the vinegar, and possibly if you can get younger cucumbers they wouldn’t be so soft, then drain them more and use fresher spices… but other than that they’re… quite nice.” On top of that, as Clara was leaving she turned around and said, “You might try boiling the vinegar just two seconds more… but… they’re nice.” OK, so maybe Clara wasn’t so likeable after all.

That afternoon Aunt Bee took lunch to Andy and his Deputy Barney Fife. She had roast beef sandwiches, coleslaw, and of course her homemade pickles. Aunt Bee was happy to be delivering her homemade pickles, and told the boys she had made eight quarts so they could have some every day. With that, she gave each of them a big pickled cucumber and watched while they bit into them. Aunt Bee was oblivious to their pained expressions as they tasted their “treat.”

After Aunt Bee left, Andy said they had to find a way to dispose of the pickles so Aunt Bee wouldn’t find out they didn’t like them. Barney asked why Aunt Bee kept making the pickles, and Andy replied that like most women, she automatically thinks homemade is better than anything from the store. My, how times have changed!

Andy said if the pickles were good ol’ store pickles, they could eat them. Barney said, “But they’re not good ol’ store pickles. They’re bad ol’ home pickles.” Andy said that they would just have to turn them in to store pickles. With that, they devised a plan to switch store-bought pickles for Aunt Bee’s homemade ones.

At the dinner table that night, and after the pickle switch, everyone was talking about how good the pickles were. Aunt Bee decided that since they were being enjoyed so much, she was going to enter the contest at the fair this year and that “this may be the year I beat out Ms. Johnson for the blue ribbon.”

The next day Clara came in the courthouse to deliver a jar of her pickles to Andy and Barney. Clara forced a pickle in Andy’s hand so he had no choice but to taste it. Thinking this would be like Aunt Bee’s pickles, he was pleasantly surprised that Clara’s homemade pickles were actually very good. Clara explained that when her husband was alive, he had loved her pickles. She then asked Andy if he had ever seen her scrapbook. She took it out and showed him her blue ribbons for each of the 11 years she had won the pickle contest at the fair, and said, “Whenever I get discouraged or lonely, I take out my book and look at my ribbons. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s a great comfort to know that there’s something I can do. You must think I’m just putting on airs, but I do try to make my pickles better every year. It means so much to me.” To those who are keeping up, Clara just redeemed herself and is likeable again.

Now Andy and Barney were in a terrible fix! How could they let poor Ms. Clara be the victim of a fixed pickle contest? Referring to Clara, Andy told Barney, “That poor soul just lives for that contest, and if she got nosed out by a store pickle I’d never forgive myself.” He then said that they had to make the contest fair and square, and that meant they were going to have to get Aunt Bee to make another batch. Barney exclaimed, “You can’t be serious! You mean you actually want her to make another batch of them kerosene cucumbers?” The only way to do that was to eat up the store-bought pickles – all eight quarts – so Aunt Bee would see them disappearing. Barney told Andy that his heart wasn’t in that plan. Andy told him it wasn’t his heart they needed; it was his stomach.

So off they went, devouring every pickle in site. Jar after jar disappeared out of the cabinet. Andy, Barney and Opie ate so many pickles they didn’t think they could face another one; however, the day finally came when the pickles were all gone. Aunt Bee was upset when she realized there were no pickles to enter into the contest, but Andy quickly made her realize she should make another batch. And that she did.

It was the day of the county fair, and Aunt Bee was nervous as the judges went from jar to jar, tasting and scrutinizing the pickles. When they got to Aunt Bee’s jar, the judges were obviously taken aback when they tasted her pickles. One judge said, “What would you say?” The other judge replied, “Kerosene?” The first judge said, “Precisely.”

When the blue ribbon was once again given to Clara Johnson, Aunt Bee was genuinely happy for her. She said, “As long as my family likes what I make, that’s blue ribbon enough for me. Actually, you boys are going to be the winners. I made a double batch this time… 16 jars. I’ll see that you get them every day.” After Aunt Bee went off to congratulate Clara, Andy said, “Well, there’s only one thing to do. Learn to love ‘em.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone would communicate in such a way that there’s no need to pull the shenanigans that Andy and Barney pulled? Had they just been gently honest with Aunt Bee in the beginning, they wouldn’t have had to eat a total of 24 quarts of pickles. Sometimes the truth isn’t easy to hear, but in my book it’s better to hear the truth than to be blissfully ignorant. Think of all the time and energy (productivity), as well as vinegar and cucumbers (resources), Aunt Bee could have saved had she just known that her talents could better be used elsewhere. I’m sure she would have enjoyed baking an apple pie much more… and we all know that Andy, Barney and Opie would have enjoyed that better!

See you next week. Stay tuned…

Holly McLeod is a Human Resources Manager for Landrum Professional Employer Services and Landrum Consulting. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR) and has more than 15 years of human resources consulting in the corporate world, healthcare and manufacturing environments


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