Hi guys, just writing a quick post to apologize for the lack of reviews lately. I am currently working a long stretch of 4pm to midnight shifts, which makes it difficult for me to find enough time to scribble something. What little free time I have had lately has been spent catching up with friends, who recently flew in from abroad, and playing Bloodborne on my newly purchased PS4. Souls games tend to make me rage quit, but I am enjoying this one thanks to its horror setting and more generous amount of healing items.
I have a couple of days off this weekend so keep an eye out for an anime centric review then. In the meantime, to tide you over, I am pasting a book review I wrote below. It’s not anime or gaming related, but perhaps you will find it entertaining. The review originally appeared in Ciao. You can read it over there if you prefer the site’s formatting or if you would like to see my hideous face (I can’t imagine why.)
Ah, what bliss! Today is my day off, meaning that I have enough free time to pen a new review. Time off work is something to be cherished, especially now that office morale is at an all time low. What is the root of my discontent? Staff cuts – a phenomena that is all too common in these times of economic strife. You know the drill. Company posts dire financial results. Company excises loyal staff to reduce expenditure. Bigwigs who orchestrated the mess depart for more lucrative posts (taking with them lavish severance packages that add to business’ deficit.)
I should be overjoyed about surviving the redundancy process, but sadly that is not the case. The aftermath to the company restructure has created a rather stressful work environment. Management berates its underlings for not meeting targets. Gasp, who could have ever envisioned that reduced manpower and increased workload is a recipe for disaster? To cope with this period of change it was recommended that I peruse Who Moved My Cheese written by Dr Spencer Johnson. Yes, I’m sure that a patronizing self help book will succeed in satiating my inner turmoil. Those paperbacks claiming to cure shyness did after all transform me into the extrovert I am today (this sentence’s sarcasm levels are through the roof.)
Who Moved My Cheese is set in a labyrinth populated by two rodents named Sniffy and Scurry along with a pair of diminutive humanoids (think the Borrowers) named Hem and Haw. The aforementioned quartet spends their days navigating the intertwining corridors seeking cheesy nourishment. Wow this reminds me a lot of Pac-Man (a game were a ball of cheddar patrols a haunted maze.) One day our heroes discover a room housing an inexhaustible amount of Stilton. All is well with the world – they’ll never need to worry about finding a meal ever again. Months later however the cheese stockpile vanishes without a trace.
Sniffy and Scurry, being the simple-minded creatures that they are, do not dwell on the disaster. They accept the situation and set off to explore the depths of the maze for new rations of cheese. Hem and Haw on the other hand are distraught. They turn the room upside down, convinced that the cheese must be hidden somewhere nearby. Their dairy sleuthing detective skills however fail to uncover the missing coagulated milk. Depressed they stay in the room convinced that the unseen force responsible for nabbing their snacks will return the cheese to them some day.
Hunger sets in and eventually Haw accepts his plight. He abandons the stubborn Hem, who refuses to leave the room, and joins the mice in their quest to find new sources of cheese. Getting away from his comfort zone allows Haw to rediscover the thrill of mapping out the maze. In the end he finds new areas filled with cheese, which are even more scrumptious than his previous haul. He realizes that he was a fool for fearing change. Rather than nostalgically reminisce about the past he should have embraced life’s new challenges from the offset. The moral of the story is almost as cheesy as its McGuffin.
Like a lactose intolerant person trying to consume cheese, my cynical mind was unable to digest the contents of this book. Its message relies on all change being positive, which certainly does not hold up to scrutiny. Anyone who has upgraded to a newer version of Windows will attest to that. Why change from your stable OS to a newer version that is full of bugs? Change can be good in some cases, but sometimes the saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” certainly applies. There are numerous examples of successful companies going bust after changing their business model without thinking things through.
My rating for this book is two stars. It did nothing for me personally, but awarding it one star would be harsh. The parable’s optimistic outlook has helped some people get through tough times so there is some merit to it. The book isn’t a huge time investment either, so even if you gleam nothing from the experience you’ll still have the rest of your evening free to spend on more productive pursuits (such as masturbating to animated porn.) I could’ve done without the needless epilogue featuring a group of office workers who discuss the story though. They comment how colleagues who refused to adapt to change got sacked and ridicule anyone who resists change for being daft like the inflexible Hem. Change is good because the majority say so. If you have a different mind-set and do not go along with the crowd you are stupid. Sorry, I don’t agree. Making a point by resorting to peer pressure comes across as weak.
Dr Spencer Johnson has sold millions of books so maybe change is good after all. Perhaps I should consider changing jobs. Change from being a dreary office worker to a writer. Evidently there is good money to be made off writing brainwashing pieces for companies looking to quell rambunctious staff.