My Employer Would Like To Make You An OfferBy A Shadowy Character
July 11, 2007 | Issue 24
I'm glad you accepted our offer to meet. My employer could use...a man of your talents. Please, please have a seat. I apologize that my employer isn't able to be here in person, but you'd understand if you knew the circumstances. If everything goes well, you'll never meet him at all.
You attracted our attention with the work you did as a producer of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game for Fox. It should please you to know that you have all the leverage in the forthcoming negotiations; your work was that brilliant. I've never before seen such a display of style over substance. To be honest, I get bored watching baseball. I need other things to capture my interest. I'm glad you agree, and that's why I'm prepared to offer you eight times what you're currently making.
Now, please, let's continue this meeting in that large wooden crate over there. If you'll go first, I'll follow you in.
What? There's nothing unusual about a request to meet in a large, human-sized box with a padlock on the outside. My employer values his secrecy, and we've completed many of our transactions in such a box. It just makes sense.
Hmm. I can understand a little hesitation, but, really, there is nothing to fear. Is it the fact that the crate is addressed to Abu Dhabi? As if I'm going to seal the crate and ship it off to parts unknown in some Bugs Bunny-meets-Machiavelli scheme? I assure you, that simply isn't the case. Now get in the crate. Please.
Okay. We don't have to hold the meeting in the shipping crate addressed to Abu Dhabi, but I have to say your paranoia disappoints me. This is a friendly business meeting, not some clandestine back-alley coke deal.
I can almost understand your point of view. Hypothetically, and that's an important word to remember, if I were disgusted with an All-Star Game television producer, I suppose it would make me feel better to know he was locked in a crate and headed to the other side of the world against his or her wishes. If, say, I were indescribably offended that the call of the first inside-the-park home run in All-Star history was delayed by shots of some goofy player-reporter and his bulldog swimming around in the waters behind the actual game, I could see my having a desire for some variety of revenge.
So, I'll forget about the box for now.
Here, have a sip of this. What? Just water of course. Any other fragrance or scent you might detect is surely coincidental. I can understand your suspicion of the box, but are you really going to turn down a drink? I told you, my employer is a big fan of your work. Others might be upset that you interviewed the manager of the American League while Barry Bonds was up at the plate in his home park against one of the best pitchers in the game during what might be his last All-Star Game ever. That really didn't make a whole bunch of sense. But as I said, baseball bores me. I understand why you make those decisions. Baseball is just...so much pitching and hitting and pitching and blah blah blah.
You get it. You make sure that we don't have to suffer through too much of the baseball. So, you don't have to worry about me drugging you and shipping your body to Abu Dhabi. It just doesn't fit with what I've told you. Heck, I love that you don't trust your audience to enjoy the very thing that they've tuned in to watch. That takes guts.
Now, please, either get in the box or have a sip of this strangely warm liquid. And then we'll have our meeting. My employer could use...a man of your talents.