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Do you know the fable about the Scorpion and Frog? There are several variations of it. This is a common tale I share with my recruiters. The moral of the story is expressed in the dying words of the Scorpion after answering the Frog’s question “Why did you sting me, we are both going to die now?” The Scorpion said “It is my nature”.

I relate this to recruiting because we all have experienced a candidate like this. The candidate stings you and asks for forgiveness. You forgive, and they sting you again.

People do what they want to do, that is the human condition. Once I accepted the fact that it is in their nature. I moved on with my life.

The Ancient Scorpion and the Frog Story

One day a scorpion wants to get across a stream.

Not being able to swim, he searches for a way over until exhausted.

Then a frog comes by, on his way across the stream.

The scorpion says to the frog, “Hey, are you going across? I can’t find a way over, and I’m so tired. Can I please ride on your back, as I really need to get across too!”

The frog replies, “What? Are you crazy? You’re just going to sting me so I’ll die and you can eat me!”

The scorpion replies, “Now why would I want to do that? Then we’d both drown in the stream.”

The frog replies, “Oh yeah. I guess there’s no point in stinging me if I’d die while you’re on my back, and you’d die too. So okay, hop aboard!”

Mid-way across the stream, the scorpion stings the frog.

As the poison starts to paralyze the frog and they both start to sink, the frog says, “Why did you do that? Now we’re both going to die! Stupid scorpion!!!”

The scorpion replies, “I’m a scorpion, I couldn’t help it, it’s my nature, that’s just what I do!”

The moral of the story is that most all life forms just do what they do, they don’t know why, and they can’t change even if they know it’s going to kill them.

Michael Chiang
“I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night”

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