Posted by Posted by Dark Beige On 14:50

By Mike Eisenhower

Hello there, John. Please, come in, sit down. Coffee? Water? You’re sure? Well, OK then. Now, John, I’ve been meaning to have a chat with you for a while now. As you know, I’m not as young as I used to be, John.
Oh, I’m still a tough nut to crack, make no mistake, but…there comes a time in every man’s life when he has to sit back and take stock of what he has and who he is. You ask yourself "Why am I here on this earth?" and more importantly "What am I going to leave behind?"

That time has come for me now, John. Sure, I could go on for another five or even ten years, but why should I? I’ve proven everything I ever wanted to prove, done everything I wanted to do. There aren’t any challenges left to get me up in the morning with that fire in my belly.
Well, I’m not being entirely honest. That’s certainly true in my business life, but I would be lying, John, if I said that in every area of life, I’ve achieved all that I wanted to. I never got married, John, never found that woman who I wanted to wake up with every day for the rest of my life.
Well, perhaps I did, sweet young Pawita…but she was only fifteen, John, and it just wouldn’t have been right! And the language barrier…she wouldn’t have understood our world, it would be too cruel to take her from her home!

No, it was not to be, John. I never took a wife, and so, I never had a child. And now, here I am, coming to the end of my business life, with this huge company that I have built up from nothing over the past forty years, and no one to pass it on to.

And then there’s you, John. How old are you now? 29? Why, I can remember when you were just 25, a young slip of a lad, it doesn’t seem like more than a few years ago. Do you remember when you first came here? I had you making teas and coffees for everyone, and emptying dustbins, and you never once complained, or even made a face. You always looked so happy to be doing it, even though in hindsight, it was totally beneath you.

And now look at you. You single-handedly brought in the Peterman contract, which alone increased our profits for 2007 by 60%. You’ve helped us weather the recession and actually grow, when everyone else is shrinking. You’re a team player, but you also know how to lead, and people respect you – but occasionally, fear you.

Let’s be honest, John – you’re the ideal candidate to take over Flexcorp. But the thing is, you’re not, nor have ever been, like a son to me. I don’t look on you like you were one of my own. Not at all.
Despite my childless life, my yearning for a son, not to mention your obvious attributes, there’s absolutely nothing even resembling a father-son relationship here.
Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed it yourself. I remember when you first told me about the Peterman contract: I was so stoked that I offered you an impromptu high five. I immediately regretted it – your awkward face, the unsatisfying, fake slap of hand on hand, the embarrassed silence afterwards. It was like we were roommates who’d drank too much and ended up in bed together, not like dad and son celebrating a victory at sports day! Terrible.
Or the time I invited you out yachting with me one weekend – how boring was that? I thought we’d shoot the shit over a few beers as night fell, but in the end I took to reading a novel just to get out of looking at you.

So, I’m sorry, John, but you’ve never been like a son to me, and I just don’t think I can pass Flexcorp on to you. Now, David down in deliveries, that’s another story. Sure, he’s only 21, with no business training or ability, but have you ever spoken to him? He knows all about movies, and baseball, and rap music - Yes! Rap music! No, I don’t listen to it myself, but sometimes I’ll just go down there to shoot the breeze with him and he’ll start rapping at me some crazy stuff about G’s and Ho’s, it’s so funny! And one time he brought in this dirty magazine with a model who looked just like that sexy little brunette in distribution, and he was saying "She could distribute my Johnson anytime". Hilarious!

I think you’ll agree that it’s someone like that, who’s been more like a son to me than you could ever dream of, that I should hand my $3 billion dollar business to. But please, don’t be disheartened, because you can still continue at your present role and salary.

That will be all, John. Shut the door on your way out.


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