What Squirrels and Embezzlers Have In Common

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What Squirrels and Embezzlers Have In Common

November 29, 2016

I was discussing embezzlement with my friend Rick Willeford a few months ago.  Rick is a CPA and engineer who founded  DentaMetrix, a company that helps dentists and consultants make sense of their data.

Rick was analogizing embezzlement to, believe it or not, bird feeders. He told me that he was having trouble keeping squirrels away from his feeder.  I know it is a bit of a stretch to link squirrels and embezzlers, but read on.

When he tried to buy squirrel-proof bird feeders, Rick was told that they don’t exist. Rick asked the hardware store clerk why.

“How much time per day do you spend thinking about the problem you are having with squirrels eating your birdseed?” the clerk asked Rick. Rick acknowledged that it was less than 10 minutes. Next came wisdom.  “Let’s consider this from the squirrel’s perspective,” the clerk said. “He wants nothing more than to steal your birdseed. In fact, he thinks of nothing but that birdseed all day. Of course, he is going to beat you!”

Watch what happens in this video:

Many dentists assume that their considerable intellectual prowess and lengthy education should give them an advantage over embezzlers. And yet we see less gifted thieves successfully embezzle for years, so the bird feeder parable is accurate. Thanks for the perspective, Rick!

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