The Dog Star: Are You A Puppy?

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition)

A contractor is replacing all of our bluestone around the house with a stamped concrete. (Bluestone is dreadful. It’s attractive but splits, splinters, buckles, and calls you names. The installer didn’t know what he was doing, the repair guy was a disaster, and the third guy didn’t even return with the promised estimate. Apparently, bluestone installation is where all the incompetent contractors congregate in Rhode Island.)

I went to talk to him, and Bentley appeared in the doorway. “Whoa,” said the contractor, “what a great looking dog. Is he friendly?” (Bentley’s ears are up and his tail is wagging and he has the dopey dog grin, but it’s still a wise question with 65-pound German Shepard.)

“Sure, he’s only a pup. He’s six months old.”

“That dog is six months old?! He would have fooled me!”

It occurs to me that many people take Bentley for a full-grown dog, when he actually has the disposition of a puppy—all that energy, not a great frame of reference, full speed as the sole speed, and unaware of his effect on people. Yet many people I see in professional services are very similar.

People see them as adults but they act like puppies.

A couple of days ago I critiqued a proposal with seven errors on the first page. That’s not easy to do if you’re paying attention. But “their” and “they’re” are two different constructions, and commas go inside quotation marks in American English.

I watch consultants throw themselves headlong into situations with no perspective, too much speed, and a lack of self-awareness. They talk too much, don’t follow up, try to impose their own methodology rather than discern client need, and have little awareness of their actions—dumb messages on their voice mail; using a knife like a dagger at lunch; dressing poorly; intimidated by the buyer.

If you don’t know proper grammar or which fork to use, that can be remediated. Those are simply skills to learn. But if you don’t ever bother to find out or don’t care to improve, those are reactions and behaviors which are immature and undisciplined.

Are people expecting an adult from all appearances, but forced to deal with a puppy? If so, expect to be sent out to the yard.

We know, in about six months, Bentley WILL be acting like a young adult. How about you?

© Alan Weiss 2013

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