Friday, August 16, 2019

Winning one for the Gipper.

I’ve sat through a lot of pep talks in my time. 

I’ve never sat through one that actually pepped me up.

Even when I was a kid and ostensibly not as cynical as I am today, I believed in the “truthiness” of pep talks about as much as I believed in the advice of a fortune cookie fortune or Zoltan the Magnificent.

I remember those locker-room meetings before the big game when our football coach, or baseball coach, or badminton coach would gather us around and exhort us about the importance of winning one for the fucking Gipper.

I never much believed in the company line. Whether the company line came from some prognathous coach or some well-spoken corporate chieftain.

Some of my disdain for these attempts at peppy-fication comes from my sense that whoever is exhorting me doesn’t know me at all.

During these speeches, you’re almost always told ‘we have to work harder, work smarter, take that metaphorical hill’ and we, management, ‘have your back.’

As the kids say: fuck that shit.

How about you have my front?

How about you stop telling me how much harder and smarter I have to be. Instead start appreciating me for how hard I work and how smart I already am.

Mostly, I suppose, my issues with peppification has pretty much always been the same.

The people doing the cheering on don’t usually know the capabilities, the talents, the ideas and the frustrations of the people working for them. There’s a lot of talking and not a lot of listening. Or even trying to listen.

And second, there’s a lot of talk, and not a lot of details about the help that’s always seems to be “on the way.”

As Hank Williams used to sing, “I’ve been down that road before.” Like I said, I’ve heard a lot of speeches.

And no matter what's said, no matter what's promised, one thing never changes. When the game is on the line and you’re standing alone at the plate, no one is up there but you. 

And no one can hit that double into the corner but you.

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