Social Situation Diary 3: Frank Grimes


When you work hard, you expect results. If you don’t get those results, you feel cheated. Over a long period, that resentment can build. One of the most humorous illustrations of this is the character of Frank Grimes, one of the many one-off characters on the Simpsons –

The character of Frank Grimes has had to earn everything the hard way – he was abandoned by his parents and caught in a silo explosion, but while recovering he puts himself through college via mail. Again, a very cliche character history to whom “nothing was given.”

Frank grows resentful when he meets Homer Simpson – the quintessential do-nothing, beer-drinking bum who gets through life by chance and the kindness of others. The episode ends with Frank driven crazy and suicidal by Homer’s success (he wins a nuclear power plant design competition for kids in the episode) and seemingly undeserved life.

One thing Frank misses is that Homer is a good person in a way that Frank isn’t: he’d happily take Frank’s life living next to a bowling alley as he’s a simple man. And the lesson is to not allow resentment and expectation to build.

I link this to my previous post: you have to work as hard as you can and strive for results, but know when you sit back and put the result in (g)od’s hands. That being said, I’ve drawn a dichotomy before between “training” and “racing.” Some swimmers fall into the trap of “if I just train hard enough, I’ll race fast” because it’s a mentally easier burden.

You have to take that burden in order to succeed. I won’t describe the exact situation that led to this post, but suffice it to say I was frustrated by a coworker who’s a bit of a bull in a china shop and I feel like this may lead to bad consequences for me. I threw my phone at a wall and busted it up a bit. Let that phone serve as a reminder: it’s better to be Homer than Frank.

Quick edit:

I just met a new colleague (call them D). Main thing I should do differently is – to be careful how I greet a new person. Need to put them at ease. Also, in closing the conversation… I should’ve said “would love to catch up more but… etc etc” rather than brusquely closely it with a “cool.. nice to meet you.” If you’re talking to someone who is interesting, they have a lot more to say and you should find a nicer way to cut it off.


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