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DIRTY OLD MEN ALSO NEED LOVE
6/27/2006 12:09:17 PM

Dirty old men also need love
CTALK By Cito Beltran
The Philippine Star 06/28/2006

I recently revived an old interest I picked up while waiting for overly busy bosses who make you wait for hours. If you ever find yourself in the room of "The Chairman", "The President", taipan, tycoon, typhoon or raccoon, go ahead and scan the room.

You have before you a unique opportunity to see what he or she aspires for, what they’ve achieved, what their inner circle want for them, who they love, who they’ve failed, and in not very visible nooks and crannies…what they really want to be and what they’re really scared of.

We tend to treat plaques, photos, awards and clippings as mere space fillers, decor or trophies. "Stuff" necessary to give a sense of professionalism, speak of power, or plain certificates for bragging rights. For doctors they need it just in case a senior citizen asks if they really went to med school.

Like the hunter-gatherers of old, it’s not enough to take down the prey or bring home the bacon. We need our trophies, the soul of our enemies, the power of our prey, the proof of the hunt, the fish that did not get away.

But they are as much a reminder of the difficulty, the effort, the fear, the doubt, even of near death and near misses. A reminder of those left at home exposed to other risks, other dangers, making equally difficult sacrifices while the hunter hunts.

For a few the photos of the wife and family are a necessary reminder that they have a house, a home and a family. For some it’s that added accessory that tells the world you are responsible, loving, and a provider. For some, you’ve just become a potential target for a home wrecker.

In one such room I read a plaque placed almost on the bottom shelf, it read "Change or perish." I wondered if it was the secretary or janitor who positioned this crucial message to their boss at the bottom shelf. Why not?! The most resistant to change is one’s inner circle. God knows he might read it and be inspired to change his secretary, driver, janitor, or even "change" himself.

Back when I.T. and computers were the domain of rocket scientists, I saw the mini poster that said: "You don’t have to be crazy to work here but it helps".

It certainly did, considering the folks in the room had to analyze tapes and computer cards. Do back breaking work for the government when they could all be in the US. Thanks to them, the Social Security System has a computerized system today.

I just now realized that the space above the light switch on your way out is a favorite spot for bosses who have something to say.

They usually hang a clipping or a framed page, an article that has profound meaning in their life or often a fearful reminder of what not to do.

On one such wall, hangs a framed page from an early 1900s book on life in the Philippines. The writer goes:

"In the Philippines, the first generation is hard at work amassing wealth in back breaking fashion; the second generation desperately attempts to preserve the family wealth; the third generation squanders it all."




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