Bad Analogies…Ever Make One?

If you ever spend anytime with me you’ll quickly learn I tend to not have much of a filter on the words which come out of my mouth. This can be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in the sense that I tend to truly mean what I say, but a curse in the sense that my mind tends to be a bit crass. I am the product of a blue-collar working family from a smaller town in the mid-Willamette Valley, (Albany, Oregon) and as I’ve been know to say.

I’m sorry, I am simply a product of our Oregon public education system.

No offense meant to all the wonderful public educators who helped shape me into the person I am today, but someone’s got to take the blame.

So let me share some of the past “bad analogies” I’ve used in my corporate life. Each example truly reflected my feelings and thoughts at them time, but I’m confident each could have stated more professionally. Maybe I am wrong. I’ll let you be the judge.

The first one was my response to an executive asking me my thoughts regarding  the building of a branch in a community that I resided.

Well …  at this point it would be kind of like showing up to a college “kegger” just as the keg has run dry. The party is pretty much over and all you are left with is just a bunch of drunks.

In retrospect, I am pretty sure that analogy didn’t do much to advance my career.

Fast forward a year later, I am with a new company and trying to acclimate to a new group of leaders. We were discussing incentive plans and one of the founding members of the bank explained they had a very effective plan for retaining employees which was to hold back high incentive payments by paying them over the course of a couple of years. So what was my brilliant response?

Well … you know  you can hold a gun to a girl’s head and make her have sex with you, but it doesn’t make it right.

Oops! I think that was a bit too graphic for my new colleagues and most likely most of you, but the truth of the matter is that it truly expressed exactly what I thought of their past practice.

As you can tell I need help! An employee I recently hired said to me, after hearing a few of my of the cuff quips which I had tried unsuccessfully stuffing back into my mouth, said to me.

“Chris, you know its part of what makes you so special.”

I am not so certain her term “special” was totally meant in an admiring way. She was most likely referencing “special” like you may find on a short bus. Oops, there I go again making a politically incorrect statement.

I’d love to hear some of your bad analogies. Misery loves company, so share with me an oops moment in your life. You may just find it therapeutic.



  1. Sally · October 12, 2012

    Ohhhhh, you bring back so many memories. I smiled all the way through the read. I cannot print the blunders I have made both in work and family and friends. Only that ultimately it helped me to be more accepting and appreciative when others make the same blunder!
    Thank you Chris.

    • Chris Antrim · October 12, 2012

      The next time we are together, which I hope isn’t too far into the future, I expect to hear some of these stories. I can’t picture the sweet Sally I know ever saying anything that might offend anyone.

      Thanks for the sharing,

  2. Lisa H · October 12, 2012

    Ha! Yep, been there, too! I guess the good thing about not filtering is that we truly mean what we say, though not in the most appropriate or politically correct way. Honestly, I’m tired of the prancing and postering–just tell me like it is and move on.

    • Chris Antrim · October 12, 2012

      I so agree with you. Doesn’t it feel like when we try too hard to not offend anyone and to be 100% politically correct that we dilute our initial message resulting in a non-inspiring message?

      Thanks for adding to the discussion with your thoughtful honest comment.

  3. scott · October 12, 2012

    You offend me when u drag air in to speak, like when the drive thru people ask if u wouldl like to add
    a shake with that … asshole

    • Chris Antrim · October 12, 2012

      Let me finish your analogy for you.

      You are saying that you always find me offensive. Just like you find it offensive that the fast food restaurant places advertisements on their board which you have to read after working out at an ungodly hour each morning enticing you to eat some super unhealthy food.

      Is that close to the mark?

      I always love your spot on analogies. Thank you for not contributing to the discussion. lol

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