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I hate onions.

I also hated the movie Shrek – thought it was highly overrated and took the easy route in most of its jokes at Disney.

But, I digress.

In this annoying movie, Mike Myers – er, Shrek – made one heck of a point using my least favorite white vegetable:

Shrek: For your information, there's a lot more to ogres than people think.
Donkey: Example?
Shrek: Example... uh... ogres are like onions!
[holds up an onion, which Donkey sniffs]
Donkey: They stink?
Shrek: Yes... No!
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry?
Shrek: No!
Donkey: Oh, you leave 'em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin' little white hairs...
Shrek: [peels an onion] NO! Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.
[walks off]

Yep – as much as I hate onions and Shrek, he made me think.

And, when HMA held a staff team building day this past summer, as I learned more about my colleagues as people – what drives them, who drives them, why they are driven – all I could think about was what big, layery onions they all were.

I also find myself seeing the former strangers I engage with in the social media world on a regular basis with as onions most of the time too.

So, I have a pretty simple goal each day as a result – peel some layers.

I do this by asking questions, making jokes and showing off my own layers when I can.

So, today’s tip is dedicated to a terrible movie, a terrible vegetable and a good idea – peel those layers!

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio


  1. Stephanie Lough says:

    Thanks for thinking of us as big, layeyr onions and not big, layery ogres.

  2. I happen to like the Shrek movies (and the musical as well) so Alison and I disagree on that point (won’t be the first, won’t be the last!). But I definitely agree with the idea that there is so much more to each of us than meets the eye. When you get a chance to “peel back the layers” you really do get to know so much more about a person.

  3. We often spend more time with our co-workers than with our family members — so getting to know people at more than a surface level certainly has its benefits.

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