Charlie Everybody

Starting to kick the tires of Senior Evals, 2018 Edition. Had a meeting yesterday of seniors and faculty. At one point, I reached back and pulled something out of the memory bank that appeared in Malcolm’s Monthly (1987-98) over 20 years ago…

Rule #25: Drop Charlie Everybody Like a Bad Habit

School life, like family and work life, comes with a familiar assortment of common issues. Typical ones include tardiness, litter, missed homework assignments, sloppy dress, and periods of general and uninspired laziness. (They have their equivalents at both home and work.)

During phases characterized by any of the above, a phantom third person often emerges as the culprit. Let’s call that person Charlie Everybody.

You know Charlie Everybody, don’t you? You can always tell when he’s around because you hear people say, “Everybody does it.”

Charlie is often accompanied by his brother or sister Nobody – Like Terry or Dana, the name is gender neutral – an individual who tends not to care. You know this because people boldly come right out and say, “Nobody cares.”

These siblings often come with a cousin named Lotsa People. (“Lotsa People have tried to stop it.”)

When these folks are on the scene, know that it’s time to introduce a new player into the mix. That person’s name is…I.

In a follow-up email to pour seniors, I wrote: So, as tempting as it can be to come out of a meeting like yesterday thinking about what somebody else needs to do, I urge you to start with: “Here’s what I need to do.” After all, we cannot control how other react to us. We can only control how we react to them.   

Onward, Malcolm Gauld