Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Parable of Sorts

I was trying to think of something to write about today and was having a bit of trouble coming up with a topic. Generally, when I have that problem I turn to other sources. But, rather than just linking you off to another site, I really wanted to give you something more substantial to read. I dug into the far corners of my mind (which is kind of link Cheers - everyone knows me there!) and decided to relate a story from one of my previous employers.

As many of you know, I spent one crazy and amazing year working at Games Workshop. For those who haven't heard of them, Games Workshop officially makes "high quality miniature wargames," however, that's just a sugarcoated way of saying toy soldiers. Yep, I worked for a company that made and promoted the hobby of playing with toy soldiers. When I took the gig, it was quite literally my dream job. I dropped everything - work, family, etc., and moved to Maryland for it. I learned a lot about myself that year and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. The best part is the stories that I now have to relate to folks.

Today's tale is an apocryphal one that came from the echelons of upper management, which was headquartered in the United Kingdom (Nottingham, England, to be precise.) You see, Games Workshop held the rights to one of the most lucrative product lines one can imagine - the Lord of the Rings. They owned the rights to produce games based upon that franchise and it was a smash hit for them. Games Workshop was so involved in the Lord of the Rings that four members of the Games Workshop staff actually appear as extras in the scene of the Battle of Pelenor Field in the final movie. So, needless to say, when the movies came out, Games Workshop was at the forefront.

Pictured left to right, Alessio Cavatore (GW Author), Alan Perry (GW Sculptor) , Brian Nelson (fellow GW sculptor) and Michael Perry(another GW Sculptor). Notice the blue screen with dead Mumak in the background.
As with any company that was involved in the property, they were issued several tickets to the London premier. In a show of democracy unknown in many other companies, the upper management decided to place the tickets in a pool and do drawings to see who would go. In the meantime, one senior manager had finagled a way to get an extra ticket for him and his wife to go, ensuring his presence at the premier regardless of the raffle. The night of the show came and, lo and behold, there stands the senior manager on the red carpet, even though he didn't win the raffle. His colleagues were understandably angry and his supervisors took a stand. They sacked him. Why? Not only had he done something wrong by taking tickets on the side, he had shown that his own personal gain was more important than being a team player and partner to to his colleagues.

So, how does this relate to DeMolay? At a time when honors abound and people are being recognized for their achievement, never forget that we are Brothers. You may have just gotten a Chevalier, but what are you going to do continue to prove that you deserve that honor? Those who have received the Representative DeMolay Award are enjoined to "help another Brother earn the RD himself." I know for a fact that most do not. All of this comes back to the fourth precept - Comradeship. Are you being the best DeMolay - the best Brother - the best Comrade that you can be?

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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