Wednesday, December 20, 2006


And no, I'm not talking about the car-maker from Bavaria.

I read an article in Golf Digest last month---

What? Did you say I have a 0ne-track mind and it's always on golf? THAT'S NOT TRUE! I occasionally think of subject other than golf. Right now, for example, I'm thinking about eating, because it's almost supper time.

Most of the time I think about sex, because I'm a man. At least, that's what the shrinks would have you believe. But that's off the subject at hand, so back to the article.

The topic was the various betting games that the writer would play on the golf course with his buddies. Now understand, please; I do NOT wager on the golf course. ESPECIALLY about the outcome of the match, or of a hole, or even of a particular shot.

I know better. I don't mind wagering on something at which I have a possibility of winning, but that precludes my golf game.

ANYway, this writer had one "rule" in a particular type of match in which a small wager had been made to heighten the level of concern about the outcome. The rule involved invoking the "B.M.W." penalty.

Here's how it works: Most golfer are perfectionists. Thus they are never completely happy with a given shot they make. Even if the ball flies to the green and goes right into the hole, some will complain that they meant to hit it higher, and with a little draw. The fact that it went in the hole was just good luck, and therefore it wasn't really a very good shot. (If you've ever played around others, you've heard this kind of comment.)

Well, the writer had a rule that if anyone hit a shot and immediately started to complain about how they hit it thin, or it felt funky, or they started it on the wrong line, or WHATEVER, and it turned out to be pretty good (on the green, or close to the hole, or even IN the hole)... Then any of the other competitors could announce loudly, "B.M.W!" and the complainer would have to replay the shot. A do-over! No matter HOW good it had turned out!

They weren't allowed to accept the good result, because they'd proclaimed loudly that it wasn't a good shot. They had to do it over, and see if they could do as well or better.

What? You want to know why they say "B.M.W?" It stands for "Bitch, Moan, and Whine."

He said invoking the rule a few times quickly broke players of the complaining habit.

Now, I LIKE that idea. I'd like to invoke it at my office to certain employees.

Employee: "Man, that fog was terrible this morning, and I got held up by the train at Bloomington. I meant to leave earlier and get here on time..."

Me: "B.M.W!! Get back in your car, drive home, and then commute to work again. We'll see how late you are THEN!"

Or how about this?

Employee: "Damn, the network is slow today. People must be dowloading stuff. My files are taking forever to load and transfer."

Me: "B.M.W!! Go erase those files, recreate them and come back tonight when nobody's on the network and transfer the files THEN!"

After a few B.M.W.s, I'll bet folks around the office would be a lot more chipper! (Or a lot quieter. Both results would be satisfactory, thank you very much.)


Christina said...

We SOOOO need that rule where I work!!!

Zinnia said...

Nothing wrong with thinking like a man, lol. Really, there isn't.

Wanna kick a chicken? ROFL!

Anonymous said...

What happens when your wife cooks dinner and after eating you say the steak was a little too well done? She yells B.M.W.?

Duke_of_Earle said...


I'm surprised that you ask.

I would never say that. The proof is: I'm still alive.


kenju said...

I just told mr. kenju about that BMW thing - and I think I will be sorry that I did. I expect to hear BMW everytime I say anything of an even slightly negative nature!

Re your comment: I am glad you liked her post, John. I thought it was sorely needed!

Karyn Lyndon said...

There's nothing wrong with a little BMW...otherwise all our blogs would be really boring! Besides...I'm sure as the HR director, listening to your employess bitch, moan and whine is written specifically in your job description.

Duke_of_Earle said...


You're right, of course. I DO get paid to listen to employees B, M, and W. And then I'm expected to filter through the BS., empathize with them to make them feel better, and actually fix or change something in the fairly rare occasion when their BMW-ing is legitmate!

But it sure is tempting sometimes to tell them to grow up, to see things from another's point of view every now and then, to realize that what seems unfair to them is reall the fairest way to the majority to do things, to suck it up, or even to get over their angst or (gasp!) change jobs!

How delicious it would be to listen for a few minutes and then shout, "BMW!" and usher them out of the office.

(Sigh.) I can dream, can't I?


robotJAM said...

So if I go to work after Xmas and complain about the network I get a company BMW ?

Have I got that right, it sounds like a great idea ?