Friday, April 2, 2010
At a training session at BMY, one of the instructors quoted, "As Winston Churchill said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." I raised my hand and told him, "That's actually a quote from George Santayana." The instructor imperiously told me that I was WRONG. My mother always said that I was "briggety" (we can't find the word in ANY dictionary, but we've used it all of our lives), so I challenged him with, "So how much money did your wife let you bring with you today?" [This is the smart-alecky thing my brothers always say when they are ready to bet somebody!] He asked, with great indignation, "What does THAT mean?" I answered, "However much money you have in your wallet is how much I'm going to bet you that I'm RIGHT!" There were a lot of "ooohs" in the classroom and one person said, "I wouldn't want to bet with HER if I were you!"
The instructor did not say another word but, and instead of acting like a stand-up person, he reported me to my boss John Wood, after the class. John told me that my behavior was inappropriate but laughed and said that he wouldn't bet with me either!
I believed that the instructor was the one who behaved inappropriately. The next day, I brought my beloved "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations" to work with me (inscribed from my friend: "We're quite a PAIR--my Bartlett's and ME!"--she knew how I love puns--PAIR/PEAR), and made copies of the quote for the instructor, John Wood, my fellow quote lover Patty, and all of my classmates.
Do you think that the instructor had the graciousness to tell the class he had been wrong? Of course not!
You can imagine what kind of evaluation I gave him!