Yesterday, I went to a retirement office party. Nothing special – cake, bad punch, obligatory cane with tassel and horn.
The party was for a guy named Mike. Here was my exact conversation with Mike’s boss, a friend of mind:
Me: “What does Mike do?” (Me making small talk)
My Buddy: “I don’t know.” (Only half kidding)
Me: “Are you going to replace him?” (me trying to drum up business)
My Buddy: “Probably not.”
Me: “How long has he worked here?”
My Buddy: “33 years.”
Me: “33 years and you don’t need to replace him?”
My Buddy: “We had an intern last summer who did his job while he took an extended vacation to Europe – and did it better.”
Me: “How much do you pay him?
My Buddy: “$53K.”
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Me: “Seriously – what does he do?!” (Me now getting annoyed at all of this.)
My Buddy: “Mike got hired 33 years ago because his uncle was the General Manager. He hired Mike as a favor to Mike’s Mom. Mike is suppose to handle client problems.”
Me: “How does he do?”
My Buddy: “We don’t have client problems – ever. Our Account Managers take care of any problems that crop up, which are normally very minimal. Mike is the next level in case those don’t get resolved. I can’t remember the last time Mike had an actual conversation with a client.”
Me: “Do you realize you’ve paid Mike over a million dollars in his career here!”
My Buddy: “Yeah – I consider it the most expensive hire we ever made.”
Do you have a Mike working for you?