I think I’ll bring a couple dozen doughnuts to work tomorrow. Maybe it’ll make people like me better.
As you may have read in my editorial titled “I’m a Bad Person” published last month, I’m a bad person. I’m self-centered, cynical, manipulative and deceptive. I’m awful, horrible, nasty and repulsive.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t want people to like me.
And to that end, I’ve gotten into the habit of bringing two boxes of “Express Dozens” from Dunkin Donuts to my office on Fridays. I set them out near the coffeemaker, then sit back and wait for the appreciation to roll in.
It’s my way of saying “See? Despite my gruff exterior, deep down inside I’m a good guy.” Except I say it in the language of crullers and long johns.
What I’m doing essentially is paying people to like me. This is not a new strategy to gain the approval of the people I’d consider my peers were I not so much smarter than they. (Oh, yeah — I’m also conceited).
As far back as junior high school, I’ve believed that affection could be purchased for the right fee. I remember a little blond-haired seventh-grader named Chris Greer who I had a crush on. I was too shy to do much about it. But I had the sense to realize that she probably liked money and, by extension, would like someone who gave her money.
So each morning between second and third periods, I’d swing by her locker and drop three quarters — all my lunch money for the day — through the ventilation slots in her locker door. I figured that if I kept it up long enough, she’d accumulate a nice piece of change before the school year was out, and she’d eventually come to like me.
To my surprise, it didn’t work. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I made my daily contributions anonymously. Maybe she was just playing hard to get. Regardless, by the time June arrived, I was both 15 pounds and about $123.25 lighter.
So while I learned early that love can’t be bought, despite what those lingerie-clad women on phone-chat commercials contend, I still believe that a grudging admiration can be had at a surprisingly reasonable rate.
When I was put in charge of a project at work last summer to collect improvement suggestions from members of my department, I spent a week on second and a week on third shift to solicit ideas from those folks. At the beginning of each week, I conducted a little “stand-up” presentation describing my efforts and casually mentioning I was to supply free pizza later in the shift.
I got all kinds of ideas with this “greasing of the palms,” including requests for at least one meat-lover’s pie and a veggie pizza for those who don’t eat meat. Someone even suggested that we reconfigure the room so that we weren’t facing the opposite direction from the table where our work appears. (A year later, that suggestion remains under management consideration, though I’m still remembered fondly as “Pizza Guy” by the night crew).
Just as I want my coworkers in the real world to like me, so too do I want you blog readers in the virtual world to like me. Your readership alone is a significant reward, but the occasional comment is even more gratifying. You can even “like” me on Facebook if you want.
(Interesting aside: Did you know there’s a movement to get Facebook to add a “dislike” button to their commenting features? There’s even a Facebook page dedicated to this end, with thousands of followers. If you favor the installation of a “dislike” button, you record your opinion by “liking” the “dislike” page.)
What I’m announcing today is a stepped-up effort to get readers to like me by offering anyone who asks for it a dollar. I’m not sophisticated enough to use PayPal or some other appropriate service to make this payment to readers who like me. But if you leave me a comment saying you like me and want a dollar in return, I will mail it to you. Just leave your name and address (don’t forget the zip code!) and you’ll soon see a payment arriving from me.
Offer good one per person. This offer may be rescinded at any time. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. The 44-cent cost of a first-class stamp and a 15-cent handling charge will be deducted from the dollar, so your actual payment will come to 41 cents. I reserve the right to make payments by check or money order, or I may just shove a quarter, a dime, a nickel and a penny into the envelope and hope it survives the post office’s processing equipment.
Thanks again for liking me.