From a 2002 USA Today article about the popularity of the book "Who Moved My Cheese?" I stumbled across that article as a result of reading the "Who Moved My Cheese?" article in Wikipedia, which I did because I said "Who Moved My Cheese?" — in a conversation with Meade about the troubles he (like others) was having with the new comments format on this blog — and I then realized that I'd long assumed I knew what "Who Moved My Cheese?" meant and, moreover, that Wikipedia would probably summarize the book, which it did. I learned that I was kind of wrong about what "Who Moved My Cheese?" was about. I thought it was about the way fussy people are disconcerted by small changes in their environment.
Some managers are known to mass-distribute copies of the book to employees, some of whom see this as an insult, or an attempt to characterize dissent as not "moving with the cheese". In the corporate environment, management has been known to distribute this book to employees during times of "structural re-organization," or during cost-cutting measures, in an attempt to portray unfavorable or unfair changes in an optimistic or opportunistic way.So that's why it was a big bestseller for 5 years. People were buying it for other people.
1. Have you ever been insulted by a book someone gave you to read? Have you ever — be honest — insulted anyone with a gift book?
2. What 2 things in your life are equivalent to Joe Stafford's "Atlas Shrugged" and "Who Moved My Cheese?"? (That is: You have time for something that take a lot of time, but you don't have time for something else in the same category that takes very little time.)
3. What catchphrase have you discovered yourself to be using incorrectly because you never bothered to partake of the source material?
4. If you had to think of a parable off the top of your head, do you think you could come up with something better than "Who Moved My Cheese?" and if so, does it irritate you that Dr. Spencer Johnson had that big-ass best seller? (Next time write a parable that will be useful propaganda for people with money and the motivation to make a lot of insult-gifts.)