Meet Brian, the financial accountant.
Brian was twice my age, but half my height.
I was fortunate to share the desk next to him for a year.

Brian was a vegetarian & believed in the power of persuasion.
I believed in the power of eating meat & hated persuasion attempts.

I liked Brian. His heart was pure.
He had a sick wife & a 1 year old son called Leo.
He sacrificed himself for them, working hard, long hrs.

Brian was humble, too humble in fact. His advice came without ego.
“Be wary of successful salesmen” he said. “They’re the dangerous type.”

“You’re young, you have time. As an intern, you’re taking things too seriously. You’re too hard on yourself. Try some Tofu.”

Brian hated animal suffering. He knew suffering. A lifetime of being bullied had led to his submission to anyone with a lesser heart.

“Everyone in this office knows Brian is getting paid the least of all of us” said Brigitte. She added “… even though he’s over-qualified.”

I saw him being mistreated repeatedly by the big egos in the building. The morbidly obese female boss … any man’s dream. He ignored it.

Brian had been studying in his privacy to add another impressive diploma to his CV, maybe get a raise this time? But he scored too low.

I felt bad for Brian. His morale was crushed. Life had beaten this man down so much, the last bit of his self-confidence had vanished.

His wife was unable to work due to her sickness (I never asked), taking care of the boy. Brian lit up when he told me of Leo’s adventures.

I’d convinced Brian to send out applications, but facing more rejection only demoralized him further. I fought his negative self-talk.

I gifted him “How to Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. I liked the theme of mental fortitude within, the praise it gave to aggression, boldness.

He once showed me how to tie a tie. The biggest asshole in the building made fun of him, having heard of his ambitions of leaving the firm.

I was dead happy for Brian when he told me he’d landed an outstanding job at a great company, generous salary & benefits. They loved him.

Brian learned from me just as much as I learned from him. We’re no longer in touch, but I like to remember a good old friend.

PS: I still eat meat.