My new manager, my senior junior assistant, Nacho Flaherty, and I are sitting in a conference room of The Large Corporation where we all work. Well, the word ‘work’ might be a bit of a stretch. We are all consultants. We all wear ID badges. The badge part is the most difficult thing we do.
Sadly, today, we may actually have to perform a duty. This is something only my manager relishes because that is what managers do: they relish other people’s misery. Check it out, look up the word Manager in Webster’s and it will cross-reference the words relish and misery.
The duty we are being tasked with is a contract review that includes a Large Corporation lawyer. The contract is with an outsource company that will be taking over the IT support functions in this Large Corporation. We had to get it right. This contract had to ironclad, bulletproof, rock solid.
Wait a minute….Nacho and I do the IT support work around here, and this contract was not with our consulting firm. What did that mean? Were we about to lose our jobs? Could I impose a tariff on Mexico? Does Mexico even exist? Are there real, actual, people living south of this Large Corporation? My mind was going full-on Donald: all nonsense, with the best bigly tweet-thoughts.
Full-on Don is not particularly useful. The method has value if you want to scare people into drinking your blend of alternate Cool-Aid facts. But, in general, if your brain goes that crazy you cannot pass Go and collect money. Do not seek help. Just stick a fork in yourself, you’re done.
I wanted to confirm my suspicions that Nacho and I were being outsourced, which was tough to get my mind around because, as consultants, we were already outsourced. But my manager waived me off. The important guy, the lawyer, was coming through the door.
“Good morning,” the important guy said, all smiles.
I do not like it when people smile. It makes me wonder what I did wrong.
“Are we ready,” the lawyer said. “To review every single line of this nine hundred page document?”
“I object,” I said.
It was a stupid thing to say, I know. But, when Don-brain infects you, it is difficult to detox.
I object? Really? What was I thinking? But then it came to me: Lie, obfuscate, distort….make things up. That is how to think about everyday people whom I perceive as scary.
I pointed at my long time buddy, Nacho Flaherty, and in a stern tone I said, “This man was born in Canada. And he’s funny-looking.”
The important lawyer employed by The Large Corporation said, “Well, that explains a lot. Case closed. We are done here.”
“Hang on. What about the nine hundred pages? Aren’t we going to discuss each and every line?”
The Large Corporation lawyer was giving up, and I wanted to know why I lost the win. Good grief, where was this coming from?
Getting to his feet, the lawyer said, “I understand. But it can’t be helped. I’ve just fired myself and we cannot talk about …uh …whatever we were talking about. That’s an executive order.”
“What about the contract?” I said.
No surprise there.