I'm Not One Of Those Successful People You're Always Hearing About
Listen, sir: I know there's been a lot of talk around the office lately about people defecting from the company. You might even suspect me of being one of them, since you walked by my computer the other day and I wasn't typing or looking deep in thought. I apologize for that lapse, but I didn't hear you coming. As I've stated in my four emails to you since the event, it won't happen again, especially not if you give me a buzz beforehand to let me know that you're coming.
The point, sir, is that you don't have to worry about me. I'm not going anywhere. It's not because of a deep appreciation for the company, because as you no doubt would recall if I had gone through with it, I've been meaning to speak with you on several occasions on some ideas for improvement to this place. No, I'm sticking around for one main reason: I'm really not what you'd call a successful person.
In this world, you have to make things happen for yourself, boss -- I'm sure a man of your management level must know this. You have to be aggressive in getting your name out there, play the part, do the dance, sex the sex, et cetera. People like you go on to lead very successful lives at big, important companies.
That reminds me: are you leaving? There are some rumors going around that people are defecting, if you haven't heard, although I'm pretty sure that you have, probably because I brought it to your attention.
You see, I've come to realize where I stand in the food chain: I help successful people along the way, recognizing that a life of achievement is just not for me. After all, where would a quarterback be without his offensive linemen? I'm not talking about big superstar linemen, either -- I mean the mediocre guys who all look like each other and whose names you can never quite remember. That's what I am: your loyal, faceless lineman, just minus all that money they get.
You deserve that money more than me anyway, sir. You do things that I never could: you talk loudly to people and dial your phone a lot. How do you remember all those people's numbers, anyway? Oh, they're all in your address book? That makes sense. It's still pretty remarkable that you have them all in there, though. That's the kind of thing I'd probably screw up. I'll stick to doing what I do, and let you worry about the big stuff.
Don't even bother telling me how you do it, either, because I already know: you do everything I wouldn't, because I'm not successful. That's all there is to it. However, if you have the time and inclination to pay someone to write a book on how you've come so far in life, I would gladly buy it from you and read every page. I'd even consider paying a few hundred dollars to see you speak somewhere, so you might want to file that away in the good idea cabinet, even if it did come from me. Sorry.
I know what you'd be thinking right now if you weren't ducking out of here early for some golf: "John, how do I know you're not going to take your ideas to another company?" Let's not kid ourselves. Why would I do that? I've got everything I need right here -- which is to say, nothing! And I wouldn't have it any other way.