Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Back in the old days when I was way more controlling and in control, we started this little incentive thing with music practice. It was the 4 pieces of chocolate thing. At the start of practice we'd put 4 pieces of chocolate down, and as we progressed through the practice the chocolate would be consumed as each milestone was reached. A piece for the 2 easy review pieces. A piece for the harder review piece. A piece for working on the new song and a piece for the scales and arpeggios.
Last night, after a rather exhausting day of running between our existing house and the 'new' (it's from 1949 so not so new) house, rushing to school to pick up after touch rugby which critically over-run by the 15 extra minutes that I just didn't have, back to the other side of town to pick up my son for a viola lesson, get 1/2 way there, the kitchen contractor rings to say he's working overtime and needs to go to the house. Drop son, back in the pouring rain and evening rush hour to let him in the house, etc. And then the dog still had to be walked when I got home. OK. So I needed a piece of chocolate after dinner. Except there was no chocolate to be found, and I just KNEW I'd bought 3 slabs to last the week.
Searching high and low, and I'm getting a bit peeved. I mean, it's only Tuesday, so it's early in the week. And then I hit the realization about all kinds of incentives and compensation. This is what companies and the European government is going through. When you incentivize, you have to supervise. Because otherwise that whole darn package gets consumed before performance or perhaps after self-judged (mediocre) performance. And then there's nothing left in the pool for other deserving candidates (like me). And then when the load gets increased - the kids are doing 2 instruments each now - but the time and other constraints are still in operation, you get incentive creep and before you know it, you're giving out a lot of lolly for less performance.
The chocolate situation is about to change.