Hell of a Guy

Honesty is, Afterall, a Good Policy…

01/16/2008

So here I sit on United Airlines flight 207 somewhere over the mid-west loving not a single minute of this five-hour, forty-minute excursion to Los Angeles.  I’ve popped off a hundred or so pages of Ken Follett’s “The Pillars of the Earth,” had a Diet Coke, a bag of nuts, ate a six-inch, very nasty something or other from Subway (the worst sandwich company in the world - Subway is to sandwiches what Bud is to beer) called a Breakfast Omelet Sandwich, and already made two trips to the restroom.  The seat I am in, though charged for and receiving extra leg room, is still not designed for fat posteriors, such as the one I came equipped with, to take long trips in.  I feel as though my buttocks being a gripped in a vice.  The only good part of this is the Audio Visions “New Age” music channel I have found on the aircrafts in-flight entertainment network.  The older I get, the less fun this travel stuff is.

I am on my way to my company’s headquarters for what is called a “Managers’ Meeting.”  Me and my compatriots are being assembled from around the far reaches of the United States for a meeting of the minds: we are being asked to be brutally honest and tell “real management” what this company needs to do to increase sales overall.  Hmmm?

Brutally honest does not mean we get to be brutally honest.  My company has always had a non-written, though tacit, policy of avoiding the negative.  So here’s the conundrum, do I go in being honest to a fault and save my vice-gripped ass, or do I open up from the heart and let it all out?

In the old days, before I found my voice (the result of the Red-Black Game, but don’t ask, for I won’t tell) would have had me sit in the back of the room or in the place where I might be least noticed and probably not called on, and you just know I never volunteered.  Today it is a little different.  After twenty-five years with the company, twenty-two as a sales manager, this boy from Baltimore with exactly twenty-two college credits and former poster boy of underachievement, has a voice and without sounding braggadocios, a respected voice.  Nowadays when this boy speaks, people listen.

I suppose some of that comes with age and tenure, but a huge difference these days, having found my voice, is that I use it, and more importantly to me, I step up and I step in.  We Millennium folk like to call that “committed action.”

And that is all I have to say about that…   

 
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