I remember once when someone asked for a couple hours off one afternoon.
Mallory said, cheerfully, "Sure! Why don't you take the rest of the day off? Hey! Take tomorrow morning off, too. Wait! Tomorrow is Friday! Take the whole day off! That'll give you a three-and-a-half day weekend! You know what? Take next week off! Go ahead! Take the whole month off. Now, here's an idea: don't ever come back!"
Mallory Was Right
His sarcasm might not have been polite or understanding, but — years after being his employee in my first real job — I sent him a note. It said, simply,
I figured that might get his head scratching. (We haven't been in touch for decades.) Maybe he's wondering what it meant. If so…
Mallory, if you are reading this, you were right when you said: "The people who work for you will never understand the owner's dilemma, the wakefulness in the night over cash flow and payroll and the ultimate responsibility. Even your best, brightest, most devoted, most mature, more responsible people — truly the most valuable folks you will ever work with — will simply not understand what you are going through. They don't have the ultimate responsibility and, therefore, don't appreciate its weight."
It's like being a parent and hearing someone say, "Oh, we don't have kids. We have a dog. It's the same for us." As if having a dog is like having kids.
I love dogs, but they aren't kids. And I can't explain why, because there are so many similarities. Either you know the giant difference or you don't.
Hey, readers, what are the differences between having a pet and having a child? (And I don't mean that you should tell me how conceiving a child is different from breeding a dog. This I know.)
Here's my favorite Mallory story. It's about the day I met him.