As I mentioned on Friday, I get quite a few anonymous tips sent to my email box. Some things are easy to verify and a few key Public Records Requests will do the trick. Others I sit and wonder what the heck I’m supposed to do with and realize that uncovering if said information were true and finding out if someone would be willing to step forward and verify the information, I would fricken win the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize in Alameda. Unfortunately, given the nature of the information, it is unsurprising that no one is interested in speaking on record about these issues. So while some folks tend to believe I throw up every random rumor I hear up in a post, in actuality I’m fairly judicious in what I decide to write about.
This item was easy, but what made it newsworthy — at least for me — is that I find it hilarious. One of my sources told me that Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant has made a whole bunch of purchases for City Hall decor. Specifically, motivational posters. Yeah, you know the kind I’m talking about right? Photos of some scene in nature with a buzz word below it like “Honor” or “Special Sauce” and some inspirational quotation that is supposed to make you want to work even harder at your job. Even though what would probably make people want to work harder is being treated like they actually are respected human beings instead of some cheesy poster.
According to my records requests, all departments got a framed version of these deep thoughts. Thoughts such as this one about Opportunity. Because you know,
“You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Here’s the funny thing about the poster, if you click on it, it has a photo of a basketball hoop, but the quote is by Wayne Gretzky. So, wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to have a hockey net? That’s probably what the folks sitting in an office staring at that photo wonder every damn day.
Or perhaps your taste runs more toward the the nature scene as opposed to sports analogies. How about this one for “Perseverance” which has a gorgeous photo of the Grand Canyon and a quote that says:
“In the confrontation between the river and the rock, the river always wins…not through strength but by perseverance.”
But by far, the most popular choice to distribute to City Staff because six copies were purchased and framed was one that urged folks to “Believe & Succeed” the quote is:
Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’ – Mary Anne Radmacher
You get the picture right? So there is a great site called Despair, Inc. that mocks motivational posters like the ones City Staff are now saddled with. The traditional “Opportunity” posters is answered by Despair’s one for “Futility” which responds to the Gretzky quote by saying:
You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, and, statistically speaking, 99% of the shots you do.
The one for “Perseverance” is equally funny:
The courage to ignore the obvious wisdom of turning back.
Personally, if I get around to it, I might purchase this one and donate it as a gift to the City.
Well, there were two separate purchases made for the posters. The first was to Successories.com in the amount of $908.68. Later a few were returned which credited $209.42 back to the City. There was another purchase made to MotivationalPosters.com in the amount of $271.90. This brings the total for the posters alone to $971.16. Additionally there was the requisite framing, because City Hall is not a dorm for folks to stick up posters with bits of gum and scotch tape. However, this time Alameda Custom Framing was blessed with the “Opportunity” to make some money off motivating City Staff. The framing alone cost $4276. Bringing the cost of inspiration to a grand total of $5247.16.
I’m sure you all found this to be well worth the cost and I’m sure City Staff are so much more eager to work with these additions to their offices.