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Issue 21

Gogu and the justification of action

Simona Bonghez
Speaker, trainer and consultant
OTHERS

"Any problems, Gogu?"

Chief stood still in front of Gogu"s desk and he was trying to read the face behind the display. All eyes were focusing on them: for about 10 minutes, only gabbles had been heard from the strategic area entitled "Gogu", but nobody had had the courage to see what was going on with him, whether someone had made him angry and whom. It was risky to place yourself in front of Gogu"s batter of pungent remarks, and his unintelligible gabble was a clear sign - confirmed in many similar situations - of danger.

"Is there a problem, Gogu? Can I help you in any way?" Chief unwarily insisted.

"Well, the goddam mammoths, may their glacier melt, I think so, yes, burst Gogu, and the colleagues sat down more comfortably on their chairs, resting on the back of their armchairs and stretching their legs, in a word, they all prepared for the show. Chief felt the movement, rather than seeing it, and he decided to rise to their bait:

"Tell me, "cause I see you rather tense, what"s the matter?"

Gogu couldn"t see from behind the display the hardly concealed smile of the Chief and he launched himself into a tumultuous tirade, to the delight of his colleagues, happy to see the show.

"I told them three days ago, three days ago!... And nobody cared to answer. How is this possible?! Can you explain it to me, Chief, how can an entire team ignore such a request?! Something that is, eventually, to our own advantage… And no one, but no one even deigned to answer the email. And you, what are you staring at me for, like in the circus? He added, on noticing the audience who was hanging on his lips. As the ton of his voice was the same and the question followed the rhetorical questions till then, many didn"t even realize they were caught in the act, namely that they had become his target. Misu, however, felt the danger and tried to draw away, slowly, letting his chair glide towards his desk. Since this had been the only movement in the area, it immediately caught the Gogu"s eye, and he said reproachfully:

"You, too, Brutus?!" after which, he went on to attack: "Oh, yes, Mr. Misu, you didn"t do anything, either. You had nothing whatsoever to do with it… Was it that difficult for you, who are as slow as a snail going into reverse, to have a look over that CV of yours, to up-date a couple of lines there and send it back to me? It"s not like I needed them to give to my mother!"

His eyes were fixed on Misu and it was obvious that this time it wasn"t a rhetorical question: he was waiting for an answer. Misu looked to Chief for help, but he avoided his look. He was completely enjoying the scene and it was clear he had no intention of interrupting it.

"Now, don"t pick on me", drawled Misu, in an attempt to stall and hoping to find an excuse or at least some intelligent reply to Gogu"s accusations. According to the rule saying that "the best defense is to attack", he quickly retorted (despite the fact that he was well known to be a slow Transylvanian):

"But you didn"t say what you needed it for!"

Gogu was knocked all of a heap: Why do you need to know? he thought, but didn"t voice his reply. It was not an intelligent reply and it wasn"t like him to throw random words. A farcical idea threaded into his brain: was it possible that it had made a difference?

Misu and the others were waiting for the mad attack, which - surprisingly - never came. It was obvious that Gogu was processing the information. Could justification be so important as to trigger the action? Gogu looked at Chief for help:

"Chief, would it have mattered?"

According to his well known habit, Chief leant back on a corner of a table and stood upon his pantables, saying:

"Yes."

After that, he exited.

***

Later that evening, at home, Gogu was still under the influence of the discussion in the office. After the Chief had gone, Gogu went out for a coffee with Misu and they debated a lot, talking about motivation, about how a request formulation could influence its gratification, "deep issues" - as Gogu called them - which he greatly enjoyed.

"Dad, I want to watch TV" - Gogu"s son suddenly appeared from his room.

"Go, mind your lessons and forget the TV. I saw you on your computer the entire evening, now you want to move on to the TV?! No."

"Gogu, dear - his wife chopped in - there is a show on the influence of technology on the young people"s mental development, it is extremely educational and I think the child could benefit from it. This is what he wanted to watch. In my opinion it would do no harm, but it is, obviously, your choice…"

Obviously, obviously - Gogu mocked her. Silently, of course, since he wasn"t crazy to do it aloud. On the other hand, the matter thus described, could he argue with that? Goddam it, look who knows about the power of justification… He grumbled:

"Well, it"s good that you two allied against me… go on, turn it on now, what can I say?!"

They have defeated me…

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