Woohoo, the new season of Masterchef Australia started last night and as everyone knows its not about the cooking but about the sob story and the ability to cry on cue.

Such is the importance of the sob story, the more cynical have devised new rules for the MC drinking game.  Forget the “I have never cooked before (insert any dish that has featured in every previous series)” to take a drink if the contestant has had any of the following happen:

  • Had children.  Any subsequent achievement in life is about making your children proud
  • Had a parent die (bonus if it was the mother who died before the contestant turned 10)
  • Parents divorced and was raised by Nan
  • Survived cancer
  • Partner has died
  • Beloved family member has written a letter of encouragement that can only be read in front of the judges
  • Fractured arm when you were twelve
  • Hate current job
  • Pet Goldfish died twenty years ago

Shit happens and that is not to diminish in any way the impact of tragedy but do we encourage people to use it as ‘get out of jail free’ card.  Any one who has watched Masterchef will know that at some point or the other, that the contestants will be asked ‘Will your deceased goldfish be proud of the dish that you plated up?’ Cue crying.

But it is the same in the workplace?  If you have a good sob story  are treated more leniently to the point where you don’t have to do any work.  Can’t possibly complete the task due to tragic event that happen ten years prior.  Like WTF, said task is a fundamental part of the role but you can’t do it because the goldfish died TEN YEARS ago? Surely there should be a statue of limitations on some sob stories?