Watch your attitude - Don't become a Percy Parrot

by Elizabeth

Percy parrot sat on a perch in his cage just outside his owner’s shop front door. Percy was a very proud parrot with beautiful plumage and a vocabulary to match. The other birds were either placed in the front window or else at the back according to appearance and desirability, the drabber ones at the back.

Percy thought that he was the only parrot who deserved to be at the front, being an advertisement for his owner and his wares. Most people were attracted to him and wanted to buy him but the shopkeeper said no and directed the customer’s attention to the other birds, some of which had just as bright plumage as Percy.

He became so puffed up with pride that he thought he was the only one deemed to be worthy of notice, no other bird could do that job.

Unfortunately Percy had one unsaving grace, Percy had an ability to talk, but he often picked up words and phrases that no self respecting parrot would repeat. He liked attention so he spoke loudly and could be heard metres down the street.

This was all very well, most people thought that he was funny but some did not think so when Percy used rude words and phrases at them that he had heard from young people visiting the shop who delighted in repeating them until he could say them off pat.

For two years Percy held sway until the owners of the shop felt that his attitude was turning people away, not only were some of his phrases
unrepeatable but the other birds were now picking them up.

There was an effort to retrain him but of course it did not work. When Percy found that he got attention his behaviour got progressively worse.

Finally one day he offended a very upright and religious lady by calling her a whore. She was so incensed that Percy was removed to the back of the shop. He was most unhappy until one day an ex sailor came in and bought him and took him home.

May I say that you may be in the forefront but there always comes a time when you have to take a back seat especially if you have taken your position for granted and misused it.

Most people know of the person who has been in the front seat for years, and been the mouthpiece and face of the organisation or workplace they belong in. They begin to think that only they can run and direct other people. They do the wheeling and dealing, they make the decisions, everyone looks up to them.

Unfortunately there comes the day of reckoning when someone stands up to them and wants a change in policy. If they prove that they are not willing to listen and want to have their own way at the expense of everyone else, eventually they may be demoted, dismissed or forced out.

When there are changes in the company or their club, they are unable to accept that they may have to work in more with other people and may be jealous that they are upstaged.

After they have toppled off their particular perch, there is soul searching to be done. It is to be hoped that when they look back they will realise that their inflexible attitude has resulted in their downfall, just as it did with Percy.

Comments for Watch your attitude - Don't become a Percy Parrot

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Not the centre of attention
by: Anonymous

The good thing about being in the background is that you notice more than everyone else. You dont get many clues about other people when you are the main actor.

Re Percy story
by: Anonymous

I thought it very true of most egotistical people actually, but for what I have made choices about over these last two weeks, I feel like Percy but with one difference, a big weight has come off my shoulder, so I think there could be another side to Percy too, never actually seen I think his other side was........

He was given no choice and put on a pedestal for all to see, all the time and maybe he wanted some peace and quiet and he used bad language his only means to be freed from this situation and to get his message across.

Maybe he was poked and prodded by loud aggressive abusive disrespectful people and was unable to sleep when he required it.

Maybe all he wanted to be was like everyone else just halfway down the shop and normal with his fellow creatures. He used the only means to draw attention to his situation and perhaps liked to be banished really.

The old story is that there could be two sides to a story and both should be listened to. Thank goodness God makes the judgement in the end eh.

In my case I hope I do not put my self on a pedestal, I like to be in the background, I have no wish to live by the will of another person because they think so. I do think everyone has a right to voice their rights if they think things are totally unjustified and I love the particular line to live by in Desiderata.

Remember that even the dull and ignorant have a voice.

In saying this equally we should all listen to the other person's opinion, they have that entitlement.

attitude and that parrot
by: Kay

Hi Elizabeth
Thanks very much for sharing this interesting and humorous story. I enjoyed reading it very much.

I love the analogy you use with the parrot, it's very cleverly done.

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