Illustration by Bob AulHey, Jackass! Nice national sales meeting! We all fly economy class, drive our own cars, bike, walk or rickshaw—whatever—to your canine and equine show so that you can pump us up with patriotism, creaky office-poster aphorisms (there's no "I" in team! Ships in a harbor are safe, but that's not what ships are made for!) and pounding dance music. You arrive in a limo with an entourage bigger than a rapper's and an ego to match and tell us we've just had a record sales year. Your explanation? Our shitty commission structure, the one that pays us less than anybody else in the field. Paying us less, you say, makes us hungrier, and there's "no one more aggressive or successful than a hungry salesperson." Warming to your subject, you conclude, "Stay hungry!" There's a silence deeper and darker than the Marianas Trench. I swear to Jesus I hear crickets in that moment. You raise your fist in a kind of black-power salute and shout it again—"Stay hungry!"—but there's still silence!
Silence, they say, speaks volumes. This one said, "You rich little twat! You really think we're stupid. We're not." I can't speak for everyone—just about 15 percent of your regional staff—but lest my silence be misinterpreted, let me translate: we quit. We're taking our skills and clients to your competitor, and we'll take great delight in kicking your well-trousered ass.