Tuesday, May 31, 2011

You fly, I'll buy

A couple of guys in shirts and ties board the train in LA.

“Yeah, sure, we could probably add another million dollars in sales if she didn’t have such a volatile personality,” says one as the pair finds seats across the aisle. “She’s a diamond in the rough. She’ll be all right.”

“You’re too soft on your people,” says his companion.

“Yeah, well….” He starts to hem and haw, and concoct a story.

He’s too soft, I think, just as his companion says. He’s probably a lousy manager, no worse than I’ve ever been. I hate managing people. I’m too soft too, like this guy who’s trying to tell a story about giving people a chance.

His companion stops him and counters: “If you create goals, with clear-cut objectives, and set a timeline….”

“I know, I know,” the other interjects, unwilling to hear what his companion is going to say.

I try to listen over the rattling of the passenger car, the frequent whistle, and announcements from the conductor over the intercom, but it’s impossible to hear what he’s saying.

My instincts tell me he’s not saying anything; he’s bull shitting. “What a waste of time,” I think, “put on a shirt and tie so you can spend the day making up stories and kissing people’s asses.”

Time stops for me on the train. I don’t’ do business. I stop, and listen, and watch people; and daydream.

The only diamond in the rough I care about is the one who’s supposed to pick me up at the end of the line tonight. She’s not happy with me; at least she wasn’t the last time we spoke several days ago. I’ve been gone four days and haven’t heard a word from her until this morning.

“I’ll pick you up tonight. Will you be buying sushi?” she wrote in an email.

I wasn’t sure I’d have a place to call home. “You fly, I’ll buy,” I wrote back.

In any case, there’s really no need to worry about home now. The train, as it runs, takes care of all my worries. What else can I do but sit back and enjoy the ride? §