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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

June 4, 2010

A FINE LINE

So, my car dealer says that for my next car check-up they will look at the Timing Belt. If it is a Timing Belt it will cost $550 dollars to fix. If it is a Timing Chain, it will cost $150.

“And which does my car have?” I asked.

The dealer said, “You have a Timing Chain.”

“Excellent,” I replied. “But what is the difference between the two?”

“Well,” she explained to me, “The Timing Belt is a belt and the Timing Chain is a chain.”

I have suspected for many years that schools and colleges are a victim of “Grade Inflation.” I know how much work I had to do for an “A” back when I was in High School and College and it seems to me that every kid with the ability to hold a pencil is now a potential Presidential Scholar and at worst, “Wait-listed” for Harvard. I will probably get some flack for that statement and it may simply be that I was just not that gifted and that because of computers and iPods all our kids are future Rocket Scientists.

I have seen this “grade-inflation” in the auto industry just recently. And here I am not making light…they are under a great deal of pressure. I am well aware of the auto industry and its impact on the American and world economy. There are wonderful improvements on the way, Detroit, Japan, Germany and Korea make, sell and service our cars. I tip my hat to them. The industry is hyper-competitive (not just “very competitive” or “super competitive” but “hyper-competitive.” Even I am inflating my adjectives!)

Recently I had my car serviced. It was done efficiently, carefully and within budget. I was pleased. My service representative informed me that “should I receive an email questionnaire” that I am to “mark it ‘superior,’ if you believe today’s service was ‘superior’.”

It was and I told her so and should my car company send an email…I would mark it superior.

She went on to say, “Because if I receive any mark less than a ‘Superior’ I will receive a ‘failure’ report from the company.”

I felt the pressure for her. I got to thinking that if others used the same standards; if I don’t preach like Billy Graham then I am a failure. If the Reds don’t win the World Series this season they are failures. If your child does not reach Harvard, she is a failure. If the stock room clerk does not reach CEO, then he is a failure.

It’s a competitive world. These days, there is a fine line between “superior” and “failure.”

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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