This is a conversation I had at lunch on Friday:
Note: The bullshit niceties have been squeezed out and the essential messages remain.
Manager: Your job is very boring. There’s only so much variety. You’re never gonna get anywhere.
Me: Okaaaaaaayyyy. Well……
Manager: Have you thought about trying sales and marketing? I need people, and you are free labour I can use, without having to spend money to hire and train someone new.
Me: Yeah, why not? It doesn’t hurt to try something new. Plus, I really am bored.
Manager: Hmmm…but don’t you think you don’t have the personality of a sales person?
Me: Yes, I actually think so. But since you offered, I thought why not? It’ll be a good chance to see how things are done out there, gain broader exposure, etc. But if you don’t think I’m suited to the job, then why the friggin hell do you keep asking me to move to sales and marketing every single friggin lunch?! Right, so if you think my job is boring, and I’m not suitable for sales and marketing, then….?
Manager: Yeah? Then what? It’s like this everywhere. You either work on the frontlines selling, or you do support work in the background. That’s all there is to it, in every single working environment.
Me: Yeah? Then what the fuck is your point?
Manager: So how long have you been working?
Me: 3 – 4 years.
Manager: Hmmm….3 years…..what was I doing at 3 years? I was managing China!
Me: And?! Your FUCKING point is?! That at 3 years out of uni., I still haven’t acheived anything?! That at 3 years out of uni., I still don’t know what I’m doing?! That at 3 years out of uni., I’m still drifting?!
That night, Cora asked me this: Do you want to be him?
Do you want to manage sales in China? Do you want to work in the same company for 14 years? Do you want to think that going home on the weekend and spending time with your son and daughter is a chore? Do you want to think the way he thinks? Why is he putting people down? Why is he so cynical about the world? Do you want to work till 2 am every night? Do you want to go out to hospitals and wait an hour for some self-rightous doctor only to have him brush you off as one of the many salesmen clamouring for his attention every week? Do you want to go out and kiss ass and kowtow and smile at people you hate?
Really, do you want to be him?
Cora summed it up: He is a small pathetic little man. I pity him.