Sunday, March 22, 2009

the beginning of grade inflation...

I've always felt that those who talk in terms of giving 110% are the same people who coined the term superstar, as if being a star isn't enough. The hype that fills our airwaves and boardrooms has gone over the top.

Words like "good" have been replaced with "fantastic" and "bad" with "disastrous". Every kid's a prodigy. "Look at my Mikey!!!! Isn't he great??" Even I'm buying in with mulitple exclamation and quesiton marks, as if adding more than one makes it louder or more "questiony".

The world has gone deaf to this type of bravado. In fact, when I coached, kids would come to me and tell me they'd give me 110%. I'm sure they saw it on a T-Shirt somewhere.
Sometimes I asked them what that meant and they said they would give me everything they had. I would respond, "so I'm going to get 100% of you?" "YES!!!", they would reply. I would tell them if I could get 88%, that would be good, no fantastic! So, here's to 88%, a real number that would get winning results.

A friend of mine, Nancy, recently sent this to me as sort of a measuring stick to percentage of effort. It rings pretty true.

What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:
If A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
is represented as 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26,

then H-A -R -D-W-O -R -K, 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%.
And K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E, 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%.

But , A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E, 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%.

And, B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T, 2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20=103%.

AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.
A-S -S -K -I -S-S -I -N-G, 1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7=118%
So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, its the Bullshit and Ass kissing that will put you over the top.
-Thank you Nancy


  1. I thought you might like that one. Good thing none of us do any of those things!

  2. Cute :-)

    I am SO guilty of using too many exclamation and question marks!! But when I type just one by itself, it looks so lonely..... ! ...... ? ..... see?? So I don't do it for more emphasis, I do it so they have some company :-)

    Kelly @ DesignTies

  3. Fantastic post!!!!! ;-)
    My 21 year old son was working for a guy who would use that jargon: "Are you giving me 110%?" Matt would come home telling me how much he hated it - how could he give more then was possible to give, especially for a job and a boss he didn't like? So... I sent him a link to your article 'cause I think he'll get a kick out of it :-)

    Thanks for visiting my bathroom post... you asked how look the remodel took = about 2 weeks. The biggest hold up... when we removed the tub we learned that the actual drain was in a different position from the shower-system pan we purchased. We lived in a condo at that time - had to get Council permission to jackhammer the cement floor to extend the drain about 6". Fortunately I was president of Council so was able to get quick approval!

    Victoria @ DesignTies

  4. lol, that was wonderful. I have one instance too. We have a card in India called 'PAN' means 'Permanent Account Number' and people call it 'PAN Number' while 'Number' is already included in PAN.
    the words play their games. You are right.

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