Cold as ice.
Eagles football buried in snow on our front lawn, January 2009
Kevin Kolb, meet Bob from Accountemps.
You know the series of radio commercials of which I’m referring to. Newman the accountant calls in fake-sick to his boss, Mr. Fernwell, who cheerfully reassures his employee that everything is perfectly fine … because the super efficient and skilled wonderkind Bob from Accountemps is on the scene and handling everything so much better than average joe employee Newman possibly could. It’s a brilliant spot, marketing and branding genius.
Not stated is that it is only a matter of time, of course, before all that incompetent Newman has to add up are his unemployment checks while Bob becomes the new kid on the payroll.
This week, the Philadelphia Eagles all but named Bob from Accountemps as their starting quarterback for the rest of the season.
Now, sports punditry is not my usual schtick around here. I leave that to the professionals. But every once in awhile, there’s a human interest related sports story that just gets me a little hot under the
dog collar. (Yeah, that’s a gratuitous Vick reference.)
Such is the case with this scenario. After playing for only the first half of the Eagles’ season opener, quarterback Kevin Kolb (in his first game as the Eagles quarterback) suffered a concussion. Coming in to save the day was none other than Michael Vick, who played extremely well. He played well the following week, too. But, all along, Eagles’ brass was saying that Kolb was still their guy.
Until Tuesday night, when abruptly, Vick was named the new quarterback for the rest of the season, leaving Philadelphians in a state of disbelief.
Now I know that the issue of who the quarterback is should be of little consequence, and that there are much bigger issues in the world that one should be paying attention to, but this is Philadelphia and we Philadelphians live and die by our Iggles. So, it’s a big deal around these parts.
It has taken me nearly two days to realize why this move has made me crazy enough to write a blog post about it and to rant about it on Facebook. It’s because we have all been in the same awkward, embarrassing and humiliating workplace situation as Kevin Kolb is in right this minute. (Minus the nearly $11 million paycheck that Kolb is drawing, of course.)
We have all had a boss who praised us, promoted us – and then, without warning and explanation, left us out in the cold. We’ve all had that boss who idolizes our intern and thinks he or she is the greatest thing ever while we’ve been the ones toiling away on weekends. We’ve all taken a job that we were excited about and worried during our shaky first days that we would be fired. And in some cases, that has indeed happened to some of us, much sooner and swiftly than we ever saw it coming, before we’ve had a chance to figure out where the restroom is, much less being able to prove ourselves.
And if any of the above hasn’t happened to you, chances are something similar has.
Yes, I know that businesses are in business to make a profit and that NFL teams exist for one reason only – to win games and bring a Super Bowl to a football championship starved town. I get that. Coddling overpaid quarterbacks who make more money on an annual basis than the GNP of several countries combined is ridiculous. We’re all big boys and girls here and if we don’t like it, we should get the hell off our respective playing fields.
But I think what the Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick scenario illustrates is what many of us have known all along but often don’t admit to ourselves: there will always be someone better than you, and regardless of how despicable a person is as a person, that person will be rewarded if what he or she brings to the table is of monetary value to the company or the franchise.
It proves that no matter how much of a nice, caring person our bosses may be, that every single one of us can fall prey to a dark side that rises, phoenix-like, in the name of profit and winning and being number one, over fairness and decency and the right thing to do. That, ultimately, at the end of the day, it is about saving ourselves and the hell with everyone else. This mindset and coming face-to-face with it head on is not always the most pleasant tasting pill to swallow.
Kevin Kolb and his $11 million bucks will be just fine sitting on the sidelines for another season. I’m not crying too many tears for Kolb in that regard, but rather for yet another nail being driven into the coffin of integrity and human decency.
Those of us who are angry and disappointed about Kevin Kolb’s demotion are feeling that way because in many respects, we are all Kevin Kolb. We know this feeling and we know it all too well.
And we’re scared to death because we know that Bob from Accountemps is in the next cubicle, just waiting for us to fumble, and then swoop in to take our place.
copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo’s Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.