Business 1.0 July/August 2022

June 29th, 2022 by Nathan Hobbs

They’ll Never Change

By Lyle R. Hill

‘‘I need your help, Mr. Hill,” the early morning caller began, “and I hope you have a minute to talk with me. My name is Al Reed. I’ve been reading your monthly articles in Window Film magazine for the past few years, and I think you can provide me with the kind of advice I need.”

Take it From Me

I don’t like to advise anyone because no good comes from it usually. I have found that if you give someone advice and things turn out good, they typically assume that their fortune was due to their quick thinking and never give you any credit for your advice. But, if your advice doesn’t work for them and things go badly, you are quickly blamed.

However, we humans have this thing called an ‘ego.’ Sometimes we like to think—maybe even believe—that we are wise about many things and people would like our opinions and advice on something.

“Okay, Al,” I replied. “Let’s hear it.”

“Well,” he said, “I’m fed up with the people I’m working for, and I want to quit as soon as possible.”

“I see, and I suppose you have been told that I do a little recruiting work and you would like me to help you find another job. Is that it?”

“Oh heavens no,” Al replied. “I’m not the least bit worried about finding another job. Companies are begging for help right now.”

“Then I don’t understand. What advice do you want from me? I don’t see how I can help you.”

“I know you can help,” he began. “As I said, I have been reading your articles for a while now. I know that underneath that calm, nice-guy appearance you try so hard to project, there is a twisted, evil, diabolical, sneaky, scheming, cynical—”

“Hey, that’s enough,” I interrupted. “You’re gonna give people the wrong impression of me. Now, do you want my help or not?”

“Yeah, I do … sorry. So here’s my story. I came to work for my current employer a little over three years ago. When I started, I was told that I could advance in the company as fast and far as my talent would take me. But I just kept getting one lousy assignment after another. I wasn’t appreciated or respected, and worst of all, the first advancement opportunity went to someone else … because, I was told, they had more experience and had been here longer.”

“Okay, Al. What do you want from me?” I asked.

“Mr. Hill, I want you to tell me how to get even with them for how I’ve been treated. I feel that you will know how to do it.”

“Actually, Al, I think you should sit down with your boss and tell them how you feel.”

“A waste of time, Mr. Hill. They’ll never change.”

“You don’t want to give it at least a try, Al? You might be surprised.”

“Mr. Hill, I’m telling you. They are never going to change. They don’t care about their employees. So are you going to help me or not?”

“Okay, I’ll help you, but you have to do exactly as I tell you. No deviation. Agreed?”

“Absolutely. Tell me what to do.”

“Here’s the plan, Al. You have to become the best employee they’ve ever had. Do the dirty work with a smile on your face. Even volunteer to do the hard stuff if it comes up. You come in a little early every day and never leave at the end of the day without asking your boss if anything else needs to be done before you go. You never criticize, whine or complain. Be as positive as possible and no matter how busy you get, be supportive and helpful to your coworkers.”

“I’m not getting it, Mr. Hill. How does this get even with them?”

“Al, after you have become the best thing that ever happened to them, you quit. It will devastate them.”

“Now I see. Great idea. I’m all in on this.”

A couple of months passed, and I hadn’t heard from Al. I thought I should call him.

“Al, it’s Lyle Hill, and I haven’t heard from you, so I thought I would give you a call to see how the plan I laid out for you worked.”

“Well, it was kinda strange. I did exactly what you told me to do, and after a few weeks, some strange things started happening. They gave me a raise without  me even asking for it. And they started giving me more responsibility and asked  me for my opinion on a few things. I can’t totally explain it, but I started to feel like I was part of the team.”

“So I’m guessing they were pretty shocked and disappointed when you quit, right?”

“Oh, I’d never quit now,” he replied emphatically. “You see, they’ve changed. They’ve really changed.”

“Yes, Al … I guess they did.”

Humor columnist Lyle R. Hill is the former owner of a window film company in the Midwest. He also serves as president of Glass.com®, an information portal and job generation company. Hill has more than 50 years of experience in film and glass-related industries and can be reached at lhill@glass.com.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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