Whatever, whatever, whatever…


June 2016, article published originally in El Periódico de Catalunya

Whatever, whatever, whatever…

At whatever office of whatever company in whatever city of whatever country, I remember them. Always there. Tall or short. Fat or thin. Slow or fast. So different but very much the same. With bad habits – or perhaps they were customs? Sparkling eyes. Clear ideas. Being at their side was uncomfortable, demanding, painful, sharp, even excruciating. And because of this, they were attractive. That’s why you wanted them near. That’s why you tolerated the intolerable. Because, in the end, and sometimes from the very beginning, they were always right. Because with their blatant honesty, they helped you travel to unexplored territory, traverse countries that don’t exist, cross borders without a passport, get into places you weren’t allowed. Maybe they should have been illegal, forbidden. Who knows.

Conversations with them were always turned up, like the palm of their hand. The hand that they would extend you to accompany them to the unknown. Together. Because in their own way, they were incapable; they didn’t know how to do things any other way. Only one way. The way that hadn’t occurred to anyone. And they didn’t care where that idea came from. It could have come from the outsider sheep, or the black sheep, maybe the white sheep or quite possibly from Nobody. They were interested in the concept, and so, sniffing with their neurons or watching from their stomachs, they knew how to tell what was good.

Because they risked it all with their decisions. But they liked the challenge.

In the daytime or at night, with treachery or darkness, in sickness and in health (until robots do us part), those bastards tended to be right, often taking risks, on the verge of tragedy, but they dared to shoot for the goal with their left heel – and the ball went in. And here and now, it’s worth it to call them by their names, but not their surnames so as  not to leave a trace, because perhaps they would believe it and debunk my myth. Stanley, Juanma, Tim, Antonio, Roland, Marc, David, Jean-Paul, Rafa, Lars, to name a few. I was lucky. These were the good ones, the bosses that wanted to change things, to advance, to evolve, explore. Innovate was a verb that they conjugated easily. And the fair thing to do, barely normal as you may be, would be to dedicate them a little affection and recognition. Because they risked it all with their decisions. But they liked the challenge.

And I also remember their opposites, the “butters” (the complainers or “ejquerosos” in Spanish… I’ve been told that the copyright of this concept belongs to Tomás Pascual, the founder of Pascual milk). The ones that are always saying, “but” we’ve always done it this way here, “but” we already tried that and it didn’t work, “but” that hasn’t been invented here, “but” no. Blah, blah, blah… And as it’s great to be ungrateful, I won’t say their names because journalism is the devil’s work. They are the bad bosses. They also helped me learn what not to do, what not to say, what not to think. And these ones I’ve also seen at whatever office of whatever company

Picture by Kumar Appaiah