Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I'm getting back to "Tuesday Morning Scributes",
but for today, I'd much rather post this as a "Get Well Wednesday"
to cheer up a friend of mine who's not feeling so hot today.

This is Ned. Ned is one of my favorite dogs at the dog daycare where I work part-time when I can. First of all, Ned...Ned? who names a dog Ned? Ned's not a good dog name, is it? Regardless, his owner (otherwise known as his driver) delivers him up most every morning from his long, black, shiny, immaculately detailed Mercedes. Yes, Ned is a very lucky dog. But deep down, Ned's not a happy puppy.

In dog years, Ned is about 47. Ned is part pit bull, part reincarnated businessman, and he's going grey around the edges. I worry about Ned's unnecessary stress-levels. You see, Ned doesn't really know how to do his job effectively. He's not the easy-going, firm-yet-respected manager that he wants to be. He feels that he's losing his edge. All he does is bark at the other dogs, all day long, like he's doing something productive for the company. "It's not personal, it's just business," he barks. "They call it work for a reason," is another favorite. He tries to command respect, and really, that just never works.

He's less than personable and motivational when he barks like this. He's obviously in over his head. None of the other dogs listen to him at all which just frustrates him even more than he is. He actually told me that he wanted the employees to give him more eye contact during his meetings. More eye contact? I think he's losing his grip after a lackluster annual review, five years in a row.

Being the mediator always, I try to make him feel better. I say, "Morning, Ned! How was your weekend? Didya get in a hole or two of golf? (And then I do that thing where I swing an imaginary golf club and make a sound effect to go along with it) ...Don't forget, you have a working lunch today with Johnson...Also, FYI, if you could resend that email about putting the covers on the TPS reports, that would be greaaaaaat..."

If that doesn't work to make him feel sufficient, then I bottom-line it and say, "Ned, I know, I know -- relax, buddy, the top dogs all know you're a highly-motivated businessman, and this company couldn't run without ya, boy. Sure. Look, I gotta run, but let's do lunch sometime next week and have a one-on-one, a brainstorming think tank session if you will, on how you can improve your game. Yes, I do have your cell number. Send my best to the wife and kids. Shake? Good boy, good boyyyy."

Poor guy. I hope he doesn't give himself an ulcer. Maybe I'll take him to a yoga class.

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