Today I’m up early in preparation for an all day “Welcome to Cambridge” technology tutorial. Now, if you know anything about me you’ll know that this is the sort of thing that sends me into fits of catatonic despair, and then sends me to strong drink. But today I am committed to patience and forbearance. I will sit there at the table with my Cambridge note pad, Marriott Hotel complimentary pen, glass of water and mints, and listen as carefully as I can. I will nod knowingly when a speaker states the obvious. I will simply pretend to be taking notes when a speaker tells an obvious lie. I will refrain from making snarky comments, being vocally contrarian, and asking questions intended to embarrass the speaker. In other words, I will refrain from being myself and doing what comes most naturally to me in these settings. I cannot, however, promise that I will stay in my seat for more than 30 minutes at a time. The goal for the day, besides survival, is not to make waves, be branded a trouble-maker, or accidentally knock over a glass of water on the laptop. Perhaps when its all over, I will have learned something of value, my opinion of my new Broker-Dealer will have been enhanced, and I will feel better about the decision, that was forced upon me several months ago, to leave a perfectly fine BD for the greener pastures of Cambridge. Nothing would make me happier than to discover the wonders and benefits of this new firm and say a year from now, “best business decision I’ve ever made!”
It’s hard for me to warm up to any corporate thing, and this difficulty has caused me no small amount of grief over the years. Natural skepticism combined with my acerbic wit make for a volatile cocktail. I start any new corporate relationship with the unshakable conviction that I’m about to be screwed, that given an opening, the guy in the suit will take advantage of me financially. Whats best for me often isn’t for him. So despite all the platitudinous blather about “working together” and being on the “same team”, or that we’re all one big happy family, I know better. If I’m not on my game, I”ll get rolled. Many say that I have an unnecessarily confrontational attitude in matters such as these and , in fairness, they are probably right. My skepticism is not a virtue. Rather, it is the result of life experience. In a perfect world, and if I were a better Christian, I would be able to let past unpleasant business adventures go and give new adventures the benefit of the doubt. I’m working on that. I really am.