Chump or Champ?
“Hey boss, I was thinking about emailing Jerry Cunningham to see if he can clarify that competitive analysis document his team shared last week, it doesn’t really make any sense.”
“Don’t email Jerry, he won’t respond.”
“What about his deputy, Clarissa?”
“Between me and you, she doesn’t generate much output either.”
My next question I kept to myself. Want to guess what it was? “Then why the fuck haven’t they been fired!!?” There are dozens of people in my organization that are widely recognized as worthless. More importantly, talk of their futility doesn’t occur merely amongst us grunts. Quite the opposite, people at the VP Level will either strongly insinuate as much or directly say it. One of our marketing guys is such a disgrace and waste of oxygen that nobody admits to being his boss. Think I’m kidding? This layabout hasn’t had a performance review in 3 years because nobody wants to admit to being his manager. “Not it!” I haven’t seen such juvenile finger-pointing since our 3rd grade teacher used to ask the boys “who farted?”
Every time my outrage boils over and I confront the high-level folks as to why so and so still has a job, I get the same pathetic response: “We need people.” …………But he ain’t doing nothing!!! Remember that kid that your little league coach would stick in right field? The one sitting down picking at the dirt and grass, looking for worms to eat. Yes, he is a live body that “shows up” in the literal sense but that kid isn’t gonna catch any balls. In fact, the team would probably be better served by yanking him and having two quasi center fielders. Not to mention the ROI to the soil and outfield grass of preventing the worm massacre.
This ain’t peewee baseball anymore. Coach needs to grow a pair and cut the scrubs. Can you imagine paying that little wiener a salary to display blatant disregard for your organization while picking and subsequently analyzing his boogers? Of course not! Then why are we paying his dad to do the same damn thing?
Let me come clean though. The real reason I hate our company loafers is jealousy. Pure, unmitigated envy. Imagine the following scenario:
A few of your colleagues are gathered around the coffee machine and your name randomly comes up.
“Does that guy still work here!?”
… A few seconds of awkward pause followed by a meticulous, legalese answer that even Bill Clinton would find impressive:
“He is still employed here, but he does not ‘work’ here, no.”
My buddy Dan often drops the following line: “There are two types of people in this world, those who get stomped on and those who do the stomping.” Ask yourself who is who at your office. Is it the guy who put in 60 hours a week of mostly pointless effort to achieve a promotion accompanied by a whopping 5% pay raise? Or is it the guy who does so little that he is but a foggy memory to all his colleagues, except for the cats in payroll?
Reframing the situation makes the answer crystal clear if it wasn’t already. Imagine getting offered an 85% cut in workload in exchange for an 8% cut in pay. With all that extra time in your day you could achieve so many other things: Learn a language, pursue a side hustle, get fit, write a mediocre blog that nobody reads, etc. etc. Or, more likely, you can go back to your old hobby of eating worms. Only this time they’re dead and floating in tequila.