It’s TunesDay and we’re going to the birds today.
Our musical inspiration is the title of today’s screed: George Harrison’s song Blue Jay Way. It’s been on my mind since I saw a jaybird screaming at some other birds in the yard. I admit it’s a bit of a non-sequitur this week. The song is about a friend of George’s getting lost in the fog on his way to a house on Blue Jay Way in Los Angeles:
There’s a fog upon L.A.
And my friends have lost their way
We’ll be over soon they said
Now they’ve lost themselves instead.
Please don’t be long please don’t you be very long
Please don’t be long or I may be asleep
The connection, however, between the bird, the song, and what’s on my mind will be clear in a moment. Blue Jays are, in my mind, a typical office species. That’s right: there are a lot of human jays hanging around. You see, this specie of bird has a number of characteristics which line up nicely with many of the folks you just might have seen flying around your office.
For example – jays are known as being very territorial birds. They will attack or kill smaller birds and they will chase others from a feeder for an easier meal. I’m sure you see that sort of behavior all the time – I know I did – from certain misguided souls in your work space. When they perceive someone to be weak, they attack. When they can claim credit for someone else’s achievement – eating from the other’s feeder if you will – they do so without hesitation.
The other thing about Blue Jays is their vocal pattern. I think of them as kibitzers – they sit near others and squawk unceasingly. In fact, real Blue Jays copy the cries of local hawks so well that it is sometimes difficult to tell the Jays from the much bigger predators. That, to me, sounds much like the office sycophant mirroring the vocalizations of the more powerful boss.
The tie to the song? These office Jays have lost themselves. They’re wandering in the fog – not doing very much except protecting their turf and screaming from the sidelines. Do you know any? Take a look – I’ll bet you find them!