The other day I was copied on a group email where the sender was passing along a video of someone or something named “Ted.”
Since it was (Throwback) Thursday, I thought a frequent-flyer friend was sharing a video of United Airlines failed attempt at creating a low-cost, spinoff airline back in 2004.
Then I thought it was a humorous clip of the talking teddy bear from the 2012 movie of the same name.
Much to my dismay, it was a clip of some motivational speaker pontificating on how to simplify my workday.
Those of you who know me, or follow my ramblings, know that I lump all motivational speakers into one category – charlatans. They are nothing more than modern day snake oil salesmen making a fortune off those willing to shell out a couple hundred bucks to go see them in person in order to feel warm and fuzzy for 90 minutes.
My first experience with one of these charlatans came back when I was working at Commonwealth Telephone (now Frontier Communications) back in the 1990’s. The ex-Revlon executive turned telephone company CEO, Michael Gottdenker, decided that all employees should spend a few days in a hotel ballroom listening to Lou Tice and other speakers from The Pacific Institute.
When word of this mandatory, “life changing” event began to circulate throughout the company and schedules of who had to go when were posted, I set out on a rebellious quest.
I went to my supervisor and told her I wasn’t going to attend.
That didn’t go over very well.
I went to my supervisor’s manager and told her I wasn’t going to attend.
That didn’t fare well either.
I went to my supervisor’s manager’s manager and told him I wasn’t going to attend
That’s when I was told, “you go or you get fired.”
Not wanting to give up my $12.50 an hour job, I sucked it up and joined the other company sheep at the Ramada every morning where coffee kept everyone awake while the snake oil salespeople droned on. At lunch time instead of eating a soggy sandwich, I went to my car and went home, ditching the rest of the day.
This went on for three days.
I wasn’t the only disgruntled schmo at 100 CTE Drive. The grunts and groans were heard throughout the company – not about the program per se, but about the mandatory requirement that went along with it.
Let’s face it, there are always going to be those individuals who enjoy listening to people like the now-deceased Lou Tice, Dave Ramsey or Tony Robbins who’s net worth soared to $480 million thanks to those who feel they need someone to inspire or motivate them in life.
People who enjoy those types of programs should sign up for them and enjoy every second they spend. Those, like me, who don’t want to drink the miracle cure they’re selling, should not be forced into watching their modern day medicine show.
I had a discussion with a very dear friend of mine, and fellow eCommerce store owner, the other day who shares my opinion. We both had no clue who or what “Ted” was, but I said it was some kind of motivational speaker thing. What she said next had profound meaning, and I’ll leave you with her words that pretty much sum up my (our) opinion of these life coaches:
“The best motivational speaker to teach anyone anything is a person who actually worked the job, ate the job and breathed the job.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.