While I haven’t seen him for years, I remember him as a lovely bloke. Good company and seemingly a decent person.
So part of me hopes we never meet again. Rather that than being reunited and having to wait with glum resignation for the conversation to turn to the subject of what we’re doing with ourselves these days.
Will I be able to hold it back, I wonder? That curl of my lip or arching of the eyebrow as he confirms what I already know from his website; that his career has ventured into one of those innumerable, vague niches of corporate life that executives have the happy knack of carving out for themselves whenever they feel the need to justify their existence.
The layman knows such niches by the grandiose job titles that tend to accompany them and the question they invariably stir up in his mind. “Do we really need those?”
There’s a woman currently extolling her former
tarted-up polytechnic university in a series of radio ads in my area, for example. Without that noble seat of learning, she insists, she could never have dreamed of becoming a brand communication executive.
Do we really need brand communication executives? Didn’t we somehow survive without them for centuries?
Second-guessing strangers like this is one thing but to have to do it to a friend is a deeply uncomfortable prospect.
So much so, that I think if it hasn’t already been written, a self-help/confessional feature in one of our consumer magazines is long overdue.
Working title: I think the world of my mate but he’s just become a performance optimisation consultant.