Happy Monday, from your boss Bruce
Maddy Smith
786

Nice read, sparkling with vivacity: people really do think and act this way. Particularly younger executives whose HR skills and sensitivities have yet to be honed.

Most of the subjects of this kind of [mis]treatment who I know are, alas, female, but I live in a conservative Asian country (Indonesia) and women are expected to shoulder such burdens.

Men may also be asked to do humiliating chores such as Marc was instructed to carry out, as in Asian companies one’s ‘job description’ does not eliminate the possibility that a VP will be asked to baby-sit the CEO’s teen-age son or pick the boss something up on a visit abroad. Like a folding kayak or $300,000 emerald (fun to carry that through Customs). This is particularly common in the paternalistic culture of family-run (read = mostly Chinese) companies which dominate East Asia. Expat executives who turn up their noses and point out that this was not in their [absurdly generous] contract will soon see a door awaiting them.

The other issue — and this has to do with several management / HR articles I’ve read over the past year — is that Marc may really be the right guy for the job, a go-getter who does not feel secure unless he’s being worked to the bone. ‘Is Ryan ignoring me this week? Did I do something wrong? Am I on the way out?’ syndrome. This master-slave phenomenon has likely had some $600/hour label attached to it but I can’t recall it. It’s certainly not masochism as achievement, not self-torment, is undoubtedly going to be Marc’s career objective.

If he’s smart he’ll phone some of the big-shot contacts he was forced to meet as ‘Ryan’ back next week and ask them confidentially whether they realized he was not the CEO, and if they were impressed by his act then why don’t they consider hiring him. Or something: turn that humiliating, stressful experience into a potentially profitable one.

Or if he’s really fed up with that entitled asshole he works for then put out a hit on Ryan and once he’s disappeared then move in with his wife and become him (a la PURPLE NOON). What, only in the movies? Oh.

Nice read. Great to see a forum like MEDIUM host such fresh stuff.

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