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I WAS ONCE A VICE PRESIDENT

I remember my first job out of college. I had my own office, my own business cards and a snazzy title: Assistant Vice President of Marketing. I made $20,000 a year -- minus parking. The job had little to offer other than a title, which was proudly emblazoned on the dozen boxes of business cards I would never crack open. "Marketing," incidentally, meant "sales," and "Executive Vice President" meant "huckster." I sold collectible coins for banks to use in giveaways. Imagine the futility of trying to explain to a bank teller in Left Nut, Kansas why someone should pay more than one cent for a penny. "They're collectible," I'd explain. "Like baby teeth." The company was five people big, and Assistant Vice President of Marketing was the bottom of the totem pole, below both Senior Vice President of Marketing and Executive Vice President of Documentation & Parking Validation (the receptionist). My boss, the Supreme Managing Chief Executive President Officer, targeted recent graduates for his labor force, knowing that: A) they needed the money, and B) they needed the self-esteem. I personally jumped at any opening in polite conversation to slip in my title.

Think about it: You open up your checkbook, sign a check leaving the amount open, tear the check off and say to the person who is bugging the piss out of you, “This is a shut up check. Fill in any amount you like. Once you do, kindly shut the fuck up.” No muss. No fuss.  

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