Girl Talk Career Blog

June 13, 2010

Steelers vs Dodgers: Who is Your Money On?

Filed under: All Things Office — lisalahey @ 9:06 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Recently I made a sports gaffe in front of my brother that tickled him no end.  Someone I know had been talking football to me. Me.  The last woman in the world who has a clue about sports of any kind since that just isn’t my arena (pun).  At any rate for some reason I brought home the word “Steelers” in my head from that conversation. Later in the week I chatted with my brother on the phone. Trying to sound as though I knew a thing or two about football I asked him quite casually, “are the Steelers playing the Dodgers anytime soon?”  Where the name Dodgers came from I don’t know.  Must have heard it on the radio that week.  Without missing a beat my brother managed to keep the stunned amusement in his voice on the down low and he replied “Lisa the Dodgers are a baseball team.” 

Ohhh.  So I guess the Dodgers won’t be playing the Steelers anytime soon eh?” was my brilliant comeback.  He finally let loose a snicker and replied “Well if they do I can’t say what the score will be but I’m reasonably certain the Steelers will kill them.”

I laughed hard at that one, not at all embarrassed by my own stupidity. Hey, I’m used to it. 

Later when I was reflecting on the hilariously stupid question I’d asked my brother and his pleasantly dry reply something occurred to me.  Would the Steelers necessarily “kill” the Dodgers?  I decided my answer to that unlikely hypothetical scenario is:  It depends. If the two teams agreed to play football then the Steelers will win by default. Clearly the Dodgers don’t want to find themselves in traction for the remainder of the season (and perhaps their lives) so that’s a no-brainer. 

Now let’s say the Steelers (even more amused than my brother) agreed to a baseball game against the Dodgers. If the Dodgers have a good manager they won’t allow this game to be declared a default.  They will show up.  They will be nervous but they will be there.   The Steelers will be there too,  as confident as lions about to go after a poor unfortunate Christian in the gladiator ring, snickering, hooting and hollering at the Dodgers.

If the Dodgers have a good manager they will make sure the Steelers are up first.  When this happens approximately 8 minutes into the game, everyone will know that the Dodgers indeed have a good manager.  So will the Steelers since they and the Dodgers will realize that the game is over. The Dodgers have won and soon they will “kill” the Steelers by a landslide. 

How do I know?

I know very little about sports but I do know this much. Football players and baseball players have to be able to do three things:

  1. Run
  2. Throw
  3. Catch

But baseball players have another skill required to play their game.  They have to be able to hit. Not the kind of hitting that a footballer does, you know full body impact and knocking the bejesus out of each other.  Nope. In baseball you need precision. You have to be able to hold a narrow bat, stand confidently at a plate staring at a potentially lethal weapon as it comes flying at your head (without protective headgear) at speeds of up to 100 mph easily, plan your timing, swing and hit that ball out into the park.  We know baseball players can do this and have been doing so since they could walk. We don’t know if football players can do that. My guess is they cannot or at least not anywhere near the professional level of a baseball player. About 8 minutes into the first inning the Steelers will have struck out and it will be time for the Dodgers to take their place at bat – confident, strong and ready to emerge victorious. The lions will be subdued and the Christians will take their place beside the Roman Emporer.

A good manager would have known this well in advance of the (hypothetical and admittedly ridiculous) game. He would not have looked at the size and weight of the footballers and said “uh oh. We done.”  He would have looked at the skill required to play the game, the likelihood of the Steelers to have acquired one particular poignant skill  and he would have known that this game was a no-brainer for his team.  He would have told them that in the locker room. The Dodgers would have started the game a little nervous and ended it bursting with confidence and pride. (And if they are a classy bunch they would manage not to point and snicker at the Steelers since they have more than evened the score on that one). 

How does that apply to you, Girlfriend, or to anyone in the workplace?  Muscle and hustle don’t cut it in this world.  Precision and skill cut it.  Results cut it.  Courage cuts it.  You can be the unflashiest and least likely-looking employee in a business and be quietly raking in commissions that would knock the socks off the biggest blusterer. When you get promoted and Ms. Big-Mouth doesn’t you won’t be at all surprised even though she and everyone else will be.  The squeaky wheel doesn’t get the grease, not if you work for a corporation with a perceptive and not-easily-impressed CEO. In other words, a good manager.

When the recession hit Bay Street in Toronto, Ontario a lot of young MBAs stopped showing up at work in blue jeans and started showing up in 2-piece suits and ties.  Foolish mistake.  They were still operating on the muscle and hustle principle, the visuals and the bragging. If I was a CEO in such a company, the change in clothing wouldn’t impress me that this person wanted to keep his or her job. It would make me suspicious. Wasn’t she or he doing their best work before the recession hit?  Does the wardrobe change signify that I should take a closer look at their sales figures?  If they suddenly shoot up at about the same time my employee turns up in a Giovanni suit then the recession certainly has come to my office. That person will be fired and not because of company cutbacks.  Nope.  She’s out the door for consistently under-performing long before the recession hit (silly me, not figuring that one out until she conveniently waved that red flag for me under my nose).  She doesn’t want to keep her job because she’s a good worker and cares about my corporation and her future here.  She’s worried about paying her mortgage.  Fine.  Go work for someone else and pay your bills.  I want my people to appreciate their job opportunities with me.  I want them to want to be here for a lot more reasons than just the money.

Don’t worry about your $1,000.00 suited colleague in the next cubicle.  Don’t feel intimidated by the woman who keeps bragging about her latest client acquisition.  Keep on doing what you’re doing Girlfriend.  You’re doing just fine or you wouldn’t be there.  In fact my hunch is you can circle commissions around the loudmouth next door.

I’ll see you in the VIP office.