If Only

If only I were half as smart as the politicians who will be on the ballot tomorrow. Hell, I’d settle for being half as smart as the various bosses I’ve had over the years. While most of them claimed predominance, I believe most were tied for penultimate.

If I were as smart as they apparently are, I’d be a billionaire while also being a saint. I’d live modestly, but still need enough space to stuff my various Nobel medals, Pullitzers, Emmies, Oscars, and my Four-H Best Hog awards. It would be no problem, because I’d be smart enough to routinely pick winning lottery numbers.

I would not only cure cancer, but also the common cold. I’d metaphysically move all the hair on my body from where it never was before, to the top of my head, each follicle smoothing wrinkles as it made the journey from wherever to the suture that joins the parietal bones at the top of my skull.

But, alas, ’twas never so, and ’twill never will be.

But there was one boss—Larry Miller—who said, back in the late 1980s or early 1990s, that he was the lowest paid member of his Wharton MBA class; however, unlike a number of his classmates (this was during the junk bond scandal era), he was proud to say he’d managed to stay out of jail.

He was more of an inspiration than he knew. The choice always is between doing well and doing good.

I proudly served as a Navy Reserve Supply Corps Officer, and reminded myself that I never wanted to break the rules because I would look terrible in a fluorescent orange jumpsuit, picking up Moon Pie wrappers along the road near the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In the last few days, it was announced that the Navy has been investigating dealings with “Fat Leonard,” who owns a company that sold supplies to the Navy in the Pacific. He was a marketing genius, determining customer needs by gathering data on customers, such as which military ship was headed where, and when it would arrive. He catered to his customers by providing the usual ballpoint pens and flashlights with his company logo, plus grand banquets, and luxury hotel suites with hot and cold running prostitutes.

Today, it was announced that a number of additional Navy officers are under investigation, including 60 admirals. Translated into English, this means AT LEAST 60, plus a bunch of captains, commanders, etc. who either participated in the largesse or are expected to take the fall for their bosses.

Tomorrow the politicians, the admirals, and the bosses may worry about their future.

On the other hand, people like you and I just worry about what to pack for lunch for work since we’re not so smart.

I’ve had my share of rough days, but I’m proud to say I followed Larry’s advice and stayed out of jail. I don’t claim to be perfect, but I try like hell.

One response to “If Only

  1. Your post, Steve, on your bosses and how smart and good they were–and how smart you perhaps wish you are–reminded me of a rather startling fact that I was told by an MBA professor who humbled me each early morning we walked the campus together. It’s something almost unbelievable so we must truly ponder it deeply. He said: “The smartest people in the world almost always work for someone else.”

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