Know What You're Getting

By Rixon Lane

Two people sit in a large office.

One is a 22-year old man, dressed in a suit, looking for a new occupation. The other is a man in his mid-fifties, sporting an Under Armor polo shirt and slacks. 

These two have never met before, but the older gentleman is here because he very badly wants the young man to get this job. 

The doors open and the CEO enters, wearing golf shorts and a visor. "Welp," he says as he sits down behind the desk and pop open a can of Sprite, "whadda we have here?"

"Sir," the young man answers, "I'm here because I would like to work for you. I heard you might be looking to upgrade at the Offensive Managerial Position." 

"I'm always looking to get better there," says the CEO.

"Well, this is the guy who can help us," proclaims the older gentleman, giving the young man a hearty slap on the back. "Just look at him, he's exactly what we need this year."

"Now, hold on," chuckles the CEO, "let's just take a look at his resume first."

He pulls out a piece of paper from his desk drawer, puts on his glasses and begins to read. 

"National championship experience in 2012, that ain't too bad...though it looks like Nicky beat you guys pretty good...hmmm...now what's this about no work experience in 2013?"

The young man looks down. "I wasn't allowed to work that year, sir. The company kicked me out for academic issues."

"That's not the sort of thing we're gonna have to worry about here, is it?" asks the CEO.

"No sir," answers both men across the desk. 

"Now, son, I'm a little confused," says the CEO as he takes off his glasses. "It says here you came back to work last year for that same company. So why are you looking for a new job after they took you back?"

"They're going to replace me, sir," he answers. "They found a younger guy who they think can do the job better." 

"Don't you worry about any of that," says the other man with a big smile. "This here is a bonfide Offensive Manager. He can lead this group as good as anyone in the country." The man winks at the CEO. "May even be good enough to help us take down that Upstate company. He's just as good as the guy they got up there"

The CEO taps his fingers together. "I'm glad you mentioned that. See, I've been getting a whole lotta calls and messages on that new Tweeter thing they set up for me. Seems to be a bunch of folks around here who think this here fella is just like that other guy they've got."

"That's right," grins the older man. 

"Well," the CEO holds a hand up to the young man, "and this is nothing personal, son, but these fellas aren't the same at all."

"What do you mean?" asks the older man, while the applicant sits quietly. "They both can run. They both are from the same geographic region. I mean, they're both bl-"

"Basketball state champions in high school, you're absolutely right," interrupts the CEO. The younger man looks somewhat embarrassed. 

"But let's look at this resume again," says the CEO as he puts his glasses back on. "Says here this fella threw 14 interceptions last year. Now, I know for a fact that the guy at that other company threw 14 touchdowns and two interceptions last year. Of course, they run that company a little different and I understand that, but it's still worth noting. Another thing...this young man, and I do applaud him for going back to work, but he was essentially replaced at his old job by a guy with less experience. Is that right?"

The young man slowly nods his head.

"The fact is," says the CEO, "this fella isn't one of the very best in the country, but he could be pretty good. He isn't that guy from the Upstate, but that's alright. We might be able to make it work with him here, but I don't want you and all your buddies thinking he's something he isn't. That's not fair to the company and it's not fair to him."

A long silence hangs in the air as the three men look at each other.

Finally, the older man speaks. 

"What about that boy at A&M? Could we bring him in?"