Monday, May 19, 2014

Lunch is for Pussies




As I get ready to start my new job (which is a higher-paying, more strategic, working for better people position by the way – everything happens for a reason J), I thought I would reflect upon a highlight from my previous role.  Until recently I was a first line sales manager at a huge corporation.  My team consisted of 35-40 some odd folks.  As such I had to hire and fire people on a fairly regular basis.  The process for getting hired as a sales rep on my team was in a word, extensive.  Prior to a thorough background check, you had to interview with 3-4 levels of management.  Each level could/did introduce a test or series of tests you had to pass in order to make it to the next phase.  Start to finish the process took no less than 8-10 weeks.  At one point I had a candidate who had made it all the way through to the background check, which meant he’d already invested 8-10 weeks of his life in the process.  Unfortunately he’d lied about his previous year’s W2′s (yeah, we checked that shit), so he was turned down for the job.  What follows is the e-mail he sent to my divisional vice president (2 levels above me) upon learning of his rejection.  Let me preface the e-mail by stating that throughout the entire interview process this guy seemed completely normal.  I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent but the rest of his e-mail is verbatim: 

Joe,

I’ve been told you want to pass because the W2s are inconsistent. What the heck is going on over there? You guys didn’t see that coming when a guy starts over a couple times the last few years?

Look I know the quarter sucked and you can’t afford to take a perceived risk but I need you to step in here and give HR an out.

How the hell are you guys struggling with the BEST technology? I’m looking at my baby and God knows that office needs some energy and I know I can make a difference. I’m 1 step from showing up and throwing elbows because I’m the best guy for that job and I’m not Fucking around.

I’ll be in there before everybody and leave after everybody and lunch is for pussies.

Don’t you want guys with serious responsibilities who can’t afford to lose? You have the best stuff for Pete’s sake. What’s the problem?

Have me back in Joe or I’m showing up anyway man.

Bob Smith

Wow.  The first thing I thought was, thank God we didn’t hire this lunatic.  Then a few questions immediately came to mind:

* Did he really think sending a crazy, profanity-laced e-mail to the divisional vice president would reverse our hiring decision?

* I wonder if he’s related to Charlie Sheen?  #Winning

* Should I be concerned that this dude is going to show up at the office to inflict bodily harm upon me?

* Hmmm… Lunch is for pussies?  That’s hilarious.  Clearly I’ve just found the title for my book.

People never cease to amaze me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Have We Over-Rotated or am I Just an A$$hole?



If you watched the ESPN coverage of Michael Sam getting picked by the St. Louis Rams late in the 7th round of the NFL draft on Saturday, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  For those of you starting to cringe don’t worry.  I am a big fan of the gay community, I have several gay friends, I am a huge supporter of gay marriage, and I believe very strongly in equal rights for all.  Yes, I realize this is a VERY sensitive subject, but I’ve never been one to shy away from sensitive subjects on this blog.  That being said what I witnessed on Saturday was a bit over the top in my opinion.
I get it.  Michael Sam is the first “openly gay” player ever to be drafted to an NFL roster (or any roster of the 4 major U.S. professional sports for that matter).  This was no doubt a huge moment in the history of sports and society as a whole.  Just like it was a huge moment when current NBA player, Jason Collins, came out in public about his homosexuality.  I truly hope this encourages more athletes (past, present, & future) to come out and be comfortable with their homosexuality (Mike Piazza – I’m talking to you J).  I obviously have no problem with any of that.  You are who you are and should NEVER be ashamed of it under any circumstances.  What I do have a problem with is how ESPN covered it.  It was in a word contrived. 

You could tell they’d been waiting all day for it.  When the end of the 7th round finally arrived and there were just a handful picks left in the draft, you could visibly see they were sweating it (just think of the missed ratings opportunity).  But then the Rams selected Michael Sam with the 249th pick in the draft and it was game on (queue the gay parade).  They first showed footage of a gay bar in West Hollywood erupting with jubilation (stereotype much?), and then cut to Michael Sam getting the call from Rams Head Coach, Jeff Fisher.  He was overcome with emotion which was actually quite touching.  At first he innocently kissed his boyfriend (a scrawny, little white guy – didn’t see that coming) which was no big deal.  But then things took a turn and got decidedly awkward.  The uncomfortable silence of the ESPN commentators said it all.  Michael Sam fed a piece of cake to his boyfriend (like they were at a wedding) and then smeared it all over his face.  They kissed several more times, rather inappropriately for a family show in my opinion, and then proceeded to lick the cake off each other’s faces.  What the hell?  I know what you’re thinking but it’s not because it was two dudes.  Seriously, I would no more rather see AJ McCarron (drafted in the 5th round) lick cake off his hot girlfriend, Katherine Webb’s face, or Johnny Manziel (drafted in the 1st round) lick cake off whatever random stripper’s face he’s dating this week, than see Michael Sam lick cake off his pasty boyfriend’s face.  It just simply wasn’t an appropriate time or place for it.  And had it not been Michael Sam (the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL) and his boyfriend, ESPN never would have shown it.  As I watched in disbelief it struck me as a very shameless thing for ESPN to broadcast in that moment.

Maybe I don’t understand the complexities of this issue because I’m not gay myself.  Or maybe what they showed on television was completely tasteful and I have some deep-seeded homophobia that I need therapy for.  Both of these scenarios are entirely possible if not likely.  But I think the point Michael Sam and Jason Collins are trying to make by coming out is that they’re no different than anyone else in their respective sports.  They are men and they are professional athletes first, who just happen to be gay.  If this is indeed the point they are trying to make, ESPN sure didn’t help their cause with the display they put on Saturday.  Congratulations to Michael Sam for realizing his life-long dream of playing in the NFL (assuming he makes the team), but moving forward can we please put the focus where it belongs, on the football field?    

Friday, May 2, 2014

I’m So Misunderstood


 


This post is recycled from 3 years ago.  It was only up for a day so I’m re-posting now.  At the time I was managing my son’s little league team and a board member of our local little league asked me to take it down.  Apparently it was not a good representation of league values.  Well, my son has since retired from little league (and so have I), so they can censor me no more.  Please enjoy J.


It’s a new record.  Just 3 practices and 2 scrimmages into the season and a mom has already blasted me to the league president.  Excerpt from her e-mail: “John Quinsey is not what Little League stands for.  He is only about himself. In fact, at the parent meeting he said winning is extremely important to him.  That should of told me something right there.”  We haven’t even played our first f*cking game and she’s already threatening to pull her kid from the team.  What can I say? I’m the Bobby Knight of little league baseball. The ironic thing is that 95% of the people who have played on my teams over the past 9 seasons have extremely positive things to say about me and even give me rave reviews on my post-season parent evaluations (I know because I read them).  It’s that misguided 5% who make all the noise and do their best to paint me as the bad guy.  I love coaching little league baseball and I love being around the kids, but man do the nut job parents drive me crazy.

Let me net it out for you lady.  Do I really think that winning is extremely important? Hell yeah, I do.  Face it - the only people who believe in the adage, “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game,” are LOSERS.  Life is a zero sum game as I see it. Every time somebody wins somebody else has to lose.  If we don’t teach our kids how to end up on the right side of the equation from the very start, we’re setting them up to fail plain and simple. To me little league baseball is the perfect opportunity to instill a winning attitude at a very young age so that’s how I play it.  Am I hard on the boys?  Sure - sometimes. Do I expect excellence at all times?  Yup - always.  Does every player on my team end the season a stronger player than they started out?  Absolutely - no question about it.  I figure I spend @ 10-12 hours a week of my time managing my baseball team, so the last thing I deserve is grief from the parents.  Shit, you should be thanking me for helping do your job for you.  You don’t like the way I manage my team?  Step up and get your own team.  Otherwise just sit in the stands with the rest of the “unable to volunteer” box checkers and shut the f*ck up.

Not sure if your kid got on the right little league team this year? Here’s a quick quiz for your kid’s manager to see if he/she is doing their job properly:

Question 1: It’s the bottom of the 6th with the bases loaded and two outs in a tie game.  Your worst hitter steps up to the plate.  Do you a) let the kid swing away and risk a game ending strikeout or, b) give him the take sign and hope for a game winning walk?

Answer: Neither - you call a time out and tell him to wear one.

Question 2: A parent approaches you and politely suggests that her son should be playing shortstop instead of right field.  Do you a) put the kid at shortstop or, b) lie and explain that right field is an important position too?

Answer: Neither – you tell her if she dares set foot in your dugout one more time to help little Johnny open up his juice box, he’ll spend the rest of the season on the bench where he deserves.

Question 3: Johnny misplays a fly ball in right field which costs you the game and he bursts into tears.  Do you a) pat him on the back and tell him, “It’s alright – you’ll get the next one” or, b) spend some extra time with him after the game teaching him how to properly catch a fly ball so it won’t happen again?

Answer: Neither – you approach him with a disgusted look on your face and say, “There’s no crying in baseball.”

Guide:

• If he/she answered (a) to 2 or more of the above: Quit the team immediately – your manager’s a spineless wimp who has no business coaching little league baseball, and is more than likely raising the next Princess Boy.

• If he/she answered (b) to 2 or more of the above: You’re in good hands – your manager’s a solid guy/gal who should be commended for their commitment to youth sports.

• If he/she answered (neither) to 2 or more of the above: Congratulations – your kid’s team is clearly going to win the league championship which is all that really matters.