Price Waterhouse Cooper accountant Brian Cullinan has possibly tweeted himself out of a job after his distraction from handing out the correct envelopes to the presenters at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday evening caused an embarrassing mixup announcing the best picture winner. The kerfuffle that ensued amounts to something less than a tempest in a thimble in the scope of world problems, but it does serve to illustrate how far the obsession some people have with social media overrides their common sense. Here is a man who has built a career over thirty years with the same company, a rarity nowadays, and has been elevated to partner status, which means he not only must be pulling down six figures per year, but possibly seven, and he blows it all off because of a lack of self-control when it comes to his social media habits.
Before we shed any tears for Mr. Cullinan, we should remember that considering his position within a prestigious, wealthy company such as Price Waterhouse Cooper, he will most likely receive a golden parachute before they toss him off the balcony of the executive penthouse, if they ever do. After a major foul up, being frog marched out the door and booted onto the street without a severance package or even a thank you for years of service is reserved for lower echelon types. In the Executive Club, however, membership has its privileges.
The Muppets always help with retaining a light, proportional perspective.
Cranial rectumitis. Don’t do this!
Does the compulsion to engage social media even when doing so can be self-destructive amount to a psychological disorder? Not according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, for which it is not heavy duty enough to meet the criteria. The compulsion Mr. Cullinan shares with so many others, infamously including Supreme Leader, is a lesser tier of disorder related to lack of self-control, or poor willpower, or even to cranial rectumitis. Whatever the cause, overcoming the compulsion starts with personal accountability and recognition of priorities. In other words, do you really need to be doing that now?
Throughout history, spiritual leaders like Jesus Christ, Moses, Buddha, Mohammed, and a select number of their followers have been an example for the rest of us of the difficulty in exercising willpower and the ultimate reward for doing so. The majority of us muddle along as best we can, quitting smoking and fatty foods and a hectic pace when it becomes absolutely necessary to our well-being or it just seems the sensible thing to do before it’s too late. We don’t usually call on the help of a twelve step recovery program for these things. Instead we perform a fairly simple cost/benefit analysis and then bring our willpower to bear on the goal, calling on our reserves of self-control to see us through day by day. Whether you’re an executive accountant, the Chief Executive of the nation, or a person struggling with difficulties that affect only yourself and maybe a small circle of friends and family, the demands of willpower, self-control, and thoughtful deliberation are the same. The social media sharing buttons are at the bottom of this post: Please tweet responsibly.
Just because some folks are “loons,” doesn’t mean loons aren’t interesting birds worthy of our respect.