Monday, September 29, 2008

What Are You Worth?

You Probably Owe Me!

I am not talking about the dollars stuffed into you mattress or the value of your house. I am referring to you as a person. This is something that has evolved with me over the years. Your value is like your credit score. If it isn't up to a certain amount, I don't want to know you.

This whole concept will take a little background to explain. Most of you probably know me as the charming, witty, satirical, patient and drop dead good looking stud that writes this blog. But what most of you don't realize, is that I have not always been this way.

Back in the days of my youth....way back, I was a pretty introverted shy person. In grade school I was the class clown and always wanted people to like me. This personality followed me all the way up to my college days, when I slowly started to learn something. The people that I wanted to like me and be friends with really weren't as cool or trustworthy as I thought.

I had been raised and taught that if someone was successful in this world it was due to natural selection. If you were a good athlete or owned a large business or were fabulously wealthy, you had to be smarter than me. It was only logical that stupid, ignorant, dumb-asses couldn't end up directing General Motors or driving around in Ferrari's. That just wouldn't make sense.

Boy, was I wrong. Idiocy and stupidity is spread equally throughout the entire population. There are stupid dumpster divers and there are stupid CEOs (Cheif Executive Officers). The only real difference is that the stupid dumpster divers can't screw up the lives of thousands of people the way a stupid CEO can.

As this nightmare of reality slowly set in over the years, I developed a system of 'grading' people based on their abilities. I leaned to ignore how they looked and their personality, and looked deeper into their abilities to deal with their world and solve problems. I strove to find out if they were proactive and attacked problems or if they were passive and complained. As I learned and interacted with more and more people, little dollars signs began to float above their heads like 'thought balloons'. (Not real thought balloons mind you, imaginary thought balloons.)

These dollar figures floating above their heads represented my 'cost' as a result of interacting with these people. If you have a positive dollar amount floating above your head, you are an asset to me and the rest of society. You help others understand and contribute to the general knowledge and problem solving of this world.

If you have a negative dollar sign floating above your head, you are a 'life thief'. Someone that steals other people's time and wastes their energies so that you can deal with your problems.

Every time I meet someone I don't know, the dollar amount floating over their head is zero. Based on their actions or in-actions over time, it starts to go up or down. Sadly, I have to report that the majority of people I have met in this world have a negative balance. Some of them have HUGE negative balances.

These are the people that can't figure things out on their own and constantly seek the help / input from others to make it through their day-to-day existence. They perceive every 'want and desire' as a 'need' that others must fill for them. Every time I have to interact with these people, in my office, on the street, over the phone, their little 'dollar sign thought balloon' starts counting downward like a pinball machine adding up a score in reverse.

As I stand on the threshold of 52 years of age, there are several people that have passed through my life that have given me thousands of dollars in life experience. But the rest of the planet owes me about $57,299,201,198.72. (That is fifty seven billion, two hundred ninety nine million, two hundred one thousand, one hundred ninety eight dollars and seventy two cents!) And for some reason, I don't think they are going to pay up!

My one real goal in this life is to invent a pair of special glasses that would allow others to see everyone's monitary thought balloons. They would help us all avoid a lot of pitfalls in life.


  1. at least you start people at zero.

    one of my failings is that i pre-judge people too often. i'd be starting off strangers with -$1,000

  2. Slyde, you are such a hard ass.....-$1,000? Why not just -$50? I used to do this as well, until I learned that some pretty narly looking folks were actually pretty smart. You can't judge a book by it's cover.

  3. "Most of you probably know me as the charming, witty, satirical, patient and drop dead good looking stud that writes this blog. But what most of you don't realize, is that I have not always been this way." NO WAY! (Snicker.)

    I LOVE this post. It is so "me." In fact, I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I usually start people at "0" or even higher, but they go out of their way to prove me wrong. I said out loud just today, "I am an optimist about life, but a pessimist about people." I'm also a "Theory Y" manager that gets forced into being a "Theory X" one.

    Anyway, I loved the whole theme of this. But here's a couple of things that really grabbed me...

    -"I learned to ignore...their personality." So many people have a hard time with this. They completely judge based on personality. Some of the best people I know have abrasive personalities, and maybe that's a flaw, but that doesn't discount the other things they can do... and DO do that makes the world a better place for those in the negative brackets.

    -The whole paragraph about "people that can't figure out things on their own" and "perceive every want and desire as a 'need' that others must fill for them." These people suck the very life out of me. I've learned to make it a point to stay away from them. They are the ones that call me their "best friend," but leave me completely drained at the slightest interaction.

    Excellent post. Maybe I'm not as cynical as I thought. Just realistic. Or maybe I'm as cynical as you... THEN I'm in trouble! (Another snicker.)

  4. Louise: I am glad I am not the only one......that means there are at least two of use in this world. Well maybe 2 and a half if you count Slyde, but he is terrible at math.

  5. Interesting post indeed.

    I have a bit of different perspective as people reach out to me specifically because I am a care taker, a nurse.

    Then, I tell people I am a psychiatric nurse practitioner and the floodgates of childhood horrors are opened. Or-they start wanting me to explain Their Aunt's thyroid surgery. Seriously, this happens everywhere. Even just making chit-chat a party at my husband's company.

    Plus, I have the energy of a healer. I am calm and an excellent listener. Nonplussed and not shocked by much. I am warm. Crazy people are drawn to this. Even if I am at the bus stop.

    Good times.

    Sometimes I tell people I work the aqua massager at the mall. Saves time.

    But, it is true. There are piles and piles of people who perceive their needs as emergencies that you must fix. You or whoever they are standing next too.

    Hmm.. Not sure here, but somehow I have managed to no let people like that withdraw from my funds too often.


    I say no A LOT.

    And if I start to absorb there ugliness or desperation, I think to myself, wait, this is not my life. My life is going really well, fabulous even!

    Then I can be near them, helping them, and stay healthy.


    Mrs. Hall

  6. Miss Hall: I have learned about talking at parties. Once upon a time I worked for the Arizona Department of Insurance. When people found that out, it was like saying I was an oncologist or something. No one understands their insurance and has questions about claims and premiums.

    I used to tell people I worked in Government, but I couldn't tell them where....and if they found out, I told them I would have to kill them.

  7. Wow Mister. Very interesting post. I like it in theory because I like things to be quantified (subconcious cravings for order in a life of chaos? Mrs Hall??)
    However, I disagree... I have found that most people, if you are patient enough with them, will show you their good side eventually. Or perhaps rather, people live up to expectations - expect the worst and you'll generally get it.
    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I may be opening myself up to major scorn and accusations of idealism here :)

  8. No, no, no, no, no Caz. On that point I would disagree. I have spent 'years' trying to help friends and co-workers pull themselves up by their own boot-straps and teach them how to be productive and pro-active. Most don't. It is either genetic or cultural, or a combination of the two, but a majority of people are 'needy' and full of self doubt. Constantly helping them out only enables them to fail more.

  9. Now that I've read the post and looked at the picture again, I can see how it is a thought balloon.

    But honestly...I thought it was a diagram of tree rings. You cut a tree down and count its rings to judge the cost. I know, I know. I need a drink.

  10. Earl: "A" drink? Think Again, better make that a double (you usually do)

  11. Oh my gosh - you are hilarious. And you have a little thought bubble above your bloggy head that has a big positive number in it because you have eloquently summarized what I can only throw my hands up in frustration over (I call it the "shake factor" - how badly do you need to be shaken?)

    Very good thinking. Very clear writing. And I'll market those glasses for you if you ever figure them out.

  12. Farm Chick: "Shake Factor".....I like that....I like that a lot!

  13. Love it. I remember when I was a girl thinking every adult was worthy of being an adult. Imagine my surprise upon realizing some adults acted younger than me.

    How about the people that over-inflate their value?

    Let me know when your check comes in....

  14. Heidi: I have been waiting all my life. I think it got lost in the mail.

  15. I like the concept. I personally couldn't use a dollar amount- more like a point system- but that's just me. I give everyone a chance until they screw up or impress me in a good way (which doesn't happen nearly as often as screw- ups), and it goes up and down from there...

  16. This was an excellent post!

    I'm sure I chortled.

    I'm not sure how much I owe you. I'll just stick you on my payment plan with the others....