Thursday, June 13, 2013

It's All About The Alligators

 "It's All About The Alligators"
Many years ago, I worked for a guy that always liked to express himself in idioms.  He had a million of them. "get your ducks lined up" , "break a leg", "waste not want not", "take a load off",  the list is endless.

But one of his favorites was "When you are up to your ass in alligators" . . . .  Quite honestly, at the time, I was never quite sure of what it meant.

Many years later, I still remember the words. and with the help of the internet, I have been able to find the quote in its entirety, and I think I now know what he was trying to say.

Here is the full quote:

"The objective of all dedicated employees is to thoroughly analyze all situations, 
anticipate all problems prior to their occurrence, have answers for these problems, 
and move swiftly to solve these problems when called upon. 
However, when you are up to your ass in alligators, it is difficult 
to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp."

This quote, often used in business, is about how unintended consequences can assume greater importance than the activity originally undertaken. . .  I think.

Using a wooden game board, I spelled out the quote with Scrabble tiles. An articulated wood toy alligator is attached to add interest.


  1. la traduction français ne s'affiche pas.. en allemand..c'est drôle et en italien aussi... un sourire d'alligator :)))

  2. when i was a kid i used to watch my sister and brother playing scrabble before they go to sleep..i ask them to teach me and until now i do still play it. i find it very interesting

    scrabble two letter cheat sheet

  3. My husband and I had not heard that one before. Good saying and nice work.

  4. I love these different quotes you do with the scrabble tiles and your alligator is fab!

  5. I first saw that quote in the 80s, when I was working in industry. I thought it was funny then, and still think so today. And it's very appropriate when you work (worked) as a quality assurance engineer for a company whose motto is/was "when in doubt, ship it out." Talk about idioms!

  6. I grew up with this quote and many more. Maybe it is a Southern Thing. Love your presentation of the quote!!!

  7. In the seven years that I spent in marketing management with McDonalds Corporation, I heard the alligator quote several times from Fred Turner, President. I saw it in your gallery exhibit today (10/1/13).