Landrum Human Resource Companies Blog

Mayberry Monday – “Man in a Hurry”
February 7, 2011, 3:38 pm
Filed under: Mayberry | Tags:

February 7, 2011

Introducing Mayberry Mondays – A look back at when it all began.  First posted July 2010 

By Holly McLeod, PHR

I am a lifelong fan of The Andy Griffith Show (TAGS). It began airing a few years before I was born, but something about that television show touches me in a way in which no other program has done. It introduces us to the innocent world of Mayberry, USA, at a time when things were serious if you held someone’s hand, when neighbors were neighborly, and when broken hearts were mended with a hug and a slice of Aunt Bea’s homemade apple pie. Life in Mayberry simply oozes with good old-fashioned values. As we celebrate our country’s freedom and independence this week, I thought it appropriate to talk about those values.

Values are so prominent in TAGS that Landrum used it to demonstrate our adopted Standards of Excellence to employees. We gathered on “Mayberry Monday” for several weeks, with a brown bag lunch in hand, and watched selected episodes of TAGS that demonstrated each of our Standards. I recently had an epiphany when I realized that the values TAGS demonstrates are also sound HR principles. Depending on the episode, it either teaches what someone (employer and/or employee) should or should not do in any given situation.

Take the episode “Man in a Hurry” as an example. According to The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watcher’s Club, as of this date this episode is the #2 fan favorite in an ongoing poll (second only to The Pickle Story, which we’ll save for another day). In “Man in a Hurry,” the car of a hard-working businessman breaks down in Mayberry when the man is anxious to get to his destination. Gomer Pyle, who operates the “fillin’ station,” doesn’t work on cars; he only knows how to add gas, water and air if needed. The businessman, Mr. Tucker, was incensed that no one could fix his car that day. You see, the car broke down on a Sunday, and Wally, the owner of the fillin’ station, didn’t work on Sundays. Therefore, Mr. Tucker had no choice but to wait in Mayberry at the hospitality of the town’s sheriff, Andy Taylor, and his beloved Aunt Bea.

Mr. Tucker sat in disbelief as he watched Andy pass the time away by trying to peel an apple without breaking the skin. He was dumbfounded at the town’s party phone line, when he couldn’t make a call because the Mendlebright sisters were chatting about someone’s feet falling asleep. He was outraged when Barney continually talked about going over to Thelma Lou’s to watch a little TV, instead of getting up and actually doing it.

Eventually, Gomer was able to get his cousin Goober to fix Mr. Tucker’s car. By that time Mr. Tucker had spent the afternoon with the Taylors and experienced what life in Mayberry is all about. He was touched at Gomer’s numerous attempts to help get his car repaired. He was appreciative when Aunt Bea prepared him a homemade picnic meal to take on the road. And he was tickled when Andy’s son Opie was disappointed Mr. Tucker wasn’t spending the night so that Opie could sleep on the ironing board (also known as adventure sleeping).

By the time he was supposed to leave, Mr. Tucker had learned a valuable lesson… that it’s not always best to be in a hurry. I think we can all learn a lesson or two from Mayberry, as Mr. Tucker did. Sometimes it’s best to appreciate those around us — our family, friends, neighbors, employees and colleagues — rather than always focusing on doing things better and faster. Sometimes there is a far greater reward in slowing down and truly enjoying the good things in life.

In the end Mr. Tucker decided to stay the night in Mayberry. He fell asleep on the front porch of the Taylor’s house with an apple and knife in his hands, trying to peel the apple without breaking the skin. To this day I try to do the same thing every time I peel an apple. Mayberry has lots of lessons to teach us about how to communicate, behave, treat others, and live. Continuing the tradition of Mayberry Monday, I hope you’ll plan to visit Mayberry with me each Monday as we review those lessons. 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.

A Mayberry Favorite ~ “Poor Horatio”
February 1, 2011, 10:40 am
Filed under: Mayberry, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

January 31, 2011

Thank you to all of the loyal followers of our blog and Holly’s Mayberry Monday blog posts! We hope you have enjoyed the stories and teachings as much as we have enjoyed sharing them with you. In fact, before we kick off a new year of “learned lessons” from the daily lives of Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife, we would like to “re-run” some of our favorite Mayberry Monday posts. We would love to know your favorite Mayberry story. Do you have a favorite episode of The Andy Griffith Show? Share your favorites as we share a few of ours over the next few weeks.

Mayberry Monday – “Poor Horatio”
By Holly McLeod, PHR

(First posted  August 2010)

In my experience of watching The Andy Griffith Show, a few episodes stand out as having brought me to tears from laughing so hard. One of those episodes is “Opie’s Charity.” In this episode, Sheriff Andy Taylor learns a valuable lesson when he realizes things aren’t always as they seem.

Andy has been told that his son, Opie, only gave three cents to the Underprivileged Children’s Drive. Andy is embarrassed because he thinks this reflects negatively on him and his position as Sheriff of Mayberry, so he talks to Opie and tries to make him see the error of his ways. The ensuing dialogue between Andy and Opie is so priceless it would only be lessened by interpretation. You can view it here; otherwise, please enjoy the following near-verbatim transcript:

Andy: I’m talkin’ about the Underprivileged Children’s Drive.
Opie: Oh, they collected for that at school, Paw.
Andy: Oh I know they did, and when they called your name you gave the large, generous
amount of three cents. My, that’s big of ya, Diamond Jim!
Opie: Did I give ’em too much, Paw?
Andy: Too much?
Opie: I could ask ’em to give back two cents.
Andy: Now looky here! We better talk about this thing. Opie, you can’t give a little bitty
piddlin’ amount like three cents to a worthy cause like the Underprivileged
Children’s Drive. I was readin’ here just the other day where there’s somewhere
like 400 needy boys in this county alone, or one-and-a-half boys per square mile.
Opie: There is?
Andy: There sure is.
Opie: I never seen one, Paw.
Andy: Never seen one what?
Opie: A half-boy.
Andy: Well it’s not really a half a boy – it’s a ratio.
Opie: Horatio who?
Andy: Not Horatio – A ratio. It’s mathematics, ‘rithmatic. Look, now Opie, just forget
that part of it. Forget the part about the half-a-boy.
Opie: It’s pretty hard to forget a thing like that, Paw.
Andy: Well, try!
Opie: Poor Horatio.
Andy: Now look, Horatio is not the only needy boy … Son, didn’t you ever give
anybody anything just for the pleasure of it? Somethin’ you didn’t want anything
in return for?
Opie: Sure. Just yesterday I gave my friend Jimmy somethin’.
Andy: Now that’s fine. What’d you give him?
Opie: A sock in the head.
Andy: I meant charity.
Opie: I didn’t charge him nothin’.
Andy: I meant somethin’ for the joy of givin’.
Opie: I enjoyed it!

Opie went on to tell Andy that his friend Jimmy had made fun of his girlfriend Charlotte. Opie also told Andy he was saving his money to buy her something. Andy replied, “All I can say is if your head can be turned by a pretty face at your age, Heaven help you when you’re grown up!”

All Andy could see was that Opie was being stingy. He wasn’t listening to Opie when he tried to explain what he planned to do with his money. He only saw what he wanted to see. Andy complained to Aunt Bee about Opie only giving three cents to charity, and it was Aunt Bee who helped Andy realize he should have more faith in Opie.

After the admonishment from Aunt Bee, Andy called Opie down from his bedroom (where he had been sent, without supper). Andy told Opie that he could spend his money any way he wanted, even if it was to buy a toy for his girlfriend. Opie then told Andy he wasn’t going to buy a toy — he had noticed that Charlotte’s coat was torn and dirty, so he was saving up his money to buy her a new coat for next winter.

After Opie realized his Paw wasn’t mad at him any longer and that he was going to be able to eat with the family, he asked Andy what they were going to have for supper. Andy said, “Well, you and Aunt Bee are having fried chicken. I’m having crow.” Andy thought Opie wanted to foolishly spend his money on a toy for Charlotte. It wasn’t until he listened to Opie that he realized his son not only understood the concept of helping those less fortunate than himself, but that he was unselfishly saving all of his money in order to help with a recognized need.

No, things aren’t always as they seem. Andy finally saw this when dealing with Opie, but perhaps this applies to dealing with employees as well. A Survey of Trust in the Workplace, conducted by Paul Bernthal with Development Dimensions International, showed that from a subordinate’s perspective, one of the top five trust-building behaviors of leaders is that he/she “listens to and values what I say, even though he or she might not agree.” Likewise, one of the top five trust-reducing behaviors is that he/she “jumps to conclusions without checking the facts first.”

The next time an employee or colleague appears to be doing something you don’t agree with, take a pointer from Andy and make sure you gather all the facts before jumping to judgment. It might save you some embarrassment down the road, and it would definitely go a long way in establishing trust with your staff. Besides, fried chicken is much better than crow.

See you in Mayberry next Monday. 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 – “Re-runs”
January 24, 2011, 10:40 am
Filed under: Mayberry | Tags: , , ,

January 24, 2011

Howdy! Thank you to all of the loyal followers of our blog and Holly’s Mayberry Monday blog posts! We hope you have enjoyed the stories and teachings as much as we have enjoyed sharing them with you. In fact, before we kick off a new year of “learned lessons” from the daily lives of Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife, we would like to “re-run” some of our favorite Mayberry Monday posts. We would love to know your favorite Mayberry story. Do you have a favorite episode of The Andy Griffith Show? Share your favorites as we share a few of ours over the next few weeks.

Mayberry Monday – “Opie the Birdman”
By Holly McLeod, PHR

One of my all-time favorite episodes of The Andy Griffith Show (TAGS) is “Opie the Birdman.” In this episode, young Opie is playing outside with his new slingshot. Andy, his “Paw” (aka Dad, for those of you who didn’t grow up in the South), had warned him to be careful. Opie was playing in his imaginary world of Good Guy vs. Bad Guy, when he pulled the sling and sent a shot catapulting into a nearby tree. He then stared in horror as a bird fell dead in front of him.

Opie’s first instinct was to run and hide, but it didn’t take Andy long to realize what had happened. In trying to teach Opie a valuable lesson, Andy opened Opie’s bedroom window so that Opie could hear the baby birds chirping for their mother, who would never return. Opie not only learned the lesson Andy was trying to teach, but he took it upon himself to personally care for the baby birds.

He gave them a safe place to live, and much to Aunt Bea’s chagrin fed them “nice, juicy worms” that he dug out of the back yard. Opie took wonderful care of these birds, until one day he noticed they were flapping their wings and trying to get out of the cage. Andy, in his wise and diplomatic way, helped Opie realize it was time to set the birds free.

Opie had nurtured these birds when they were unable to care for themselves. Now that they were older and more mature, Opie had to make the difficult decision to do what every mother bird faces – to push the birds out of the safety and security of what they knew, and to face the new, exciting, and sometimes scary world of the unknown.

The life cycle of an employee is not as clear-cut as it was for Opie’s birds, but employers do get the opportunity to nourish an employee’s growth and maturity. You won’t see an employee literally flapping its wings to get out of the cage; however, if you look closely and pay attention you might just see the signs of someone in need of new challenges and opportunities, or who is becoming discontent in his/her job:

  • Decreased productivity
  • Decreased enthusiasm
  • Uncharacteristic attendance or punctuality issues
  • Showing frustration over work
  • Uncharacteristic irritability
  • Showing decreased enjoyment in work
  • Request for additional responsibilities
  • Request for transfer to another position (even if it’s a lateral move)

These behaviors are symptoms of discontent, and could be warning signs for more serious issues like burnout or depression. By paying closer attention, you can avoid losing great employees by intervening early and finding ways to keep your employees engaged and passionate about their work.

Consider developing career paths within your organization if you haven’t already done so. Knowing there are future opportunities for growth and development will go a long way in maintaining a content workforce. Look for the flapping birds in your organization, and act quickly to keep them engaged in their work and in your company. Be aware when someone matures to the point of needing new challenges. But also be aware when someone is on the verge of burnout and needing some fast relief!

Opie learned the valuable lesson that you shouldn’t keep something caged that is destined to fly. Like Opie, you may find yourself needing to help your employees out of the cage. That’s what mother birds do for their young, and what good employers do for their employees.

The ending scene of “Opie the Birdman” demonstrates why this is the right thing to do. After Opie released the birds and each of them had flown out of the cage, Opie looked sadly at the cage and told Andy it sure looked empty. “Yes it does,” Andy replied, “but don’t the trees sound nice and full.” Imagine how nice and full your organization will be if everyone is happily flying, doing the work they are destined to do.

I hope you plan to meet me in Mayberry again next Monday. 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 – “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


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