Monday, December 13, 2010

The True American Oppressed

Dear GB,

I hear that you have taken up your kleenex against that old guy. To be honest I'm not sure if there was a precipitating event or you just needed a change of irrational target. I admit that when your name appears I click away and I figure if anything important happens with the old guy someone will tell me.

That's why I'm writing. I used to work for him and, as much as we're never going to be on the same page, I figured I'd do the nice thing and let you know something about him.

He doesn't care about you.

He doesn't care what you think, he doesn't care what you say, he doesn't care if he's made you cry. He simply does not care. He's lived through honest-to-goodness fascist and communist regimes, he's made a billion dollars in a day on the strength of his own intelligence and he's created a nearly self-sustaining network of charitable organizations that will burnish his name long after his human light is extinguished. If any of those things or any of the other many and varied actions he's taken in his nearly 80 years of life are a problem for you he assumes that you, being an adult, will pull yourself up by your bootstraps and handle those problems yourself. In that respect perhaps he's right. You're a big proponent of people pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps, aren't you?

I don't mean to be harsh. There are people who do care about you. The old guy's media liaison cares a little, I'm sure. (Note: There's just one guy. If you're picturing a huge grinding media machine you need to downsize. Considerably.) Some of the financial folk may care a bit. They always care because they need to see if anything might sway the market. The charitable arm's folk surely care a lot about you but only insofar as you define that which they oppose.

There's one person in particular, though, who cares about you more than all the others. I don't know her personally, I've been away too blessedly long, but I feel confident in speaking on her behalf. She's the personal assistant at the very bottom of the short totem pole of secretaries who manage the old guy's life. She cares about you and your tears and your network and your broadcasts very deeply, I am sure.

One of the years I was in his employ was 2004, a big presidential election year for the US and for him. He threw himself with all his might into a campaign that he believed was important and winnable for his side. Many people, an enormous chunk of whom are likely viewers of your syndicated weepfests, thought the old guy was wrong. They also felt he should be barred from participating in the proceedings despite his longstanding US citizenship, which they frequently called into question. I know this because they called his office and when they did I was the person to whom they were transferred.

I had my intelligence, my patriotism, and my motives called into question. I was cajoled, questioned and, most often, threatened. I had to learn how to take steps to protect not only myself but my colleagues from people calling, writing and stopping by, sometimes dressed as messengers in order to circumvent security procedures to get into our office, with their objections to the old guy's actions. These people were concerned and exercising their right to free speech and no amount of explanation or proof could deter them. I once spent the first 3 minutes of a 15 minute conversation urging a caller to believe in the verifiable public record that the old guy is a US citizen. I spent the next 2 minutes sticking to my guns about his country of origin (Hungary, not Greece, yes I'm sure). The rest of the call I simply let her berate me, it was part of the job.

I never give out my last name on a work call anymore.

I am eternally grateful to the security staff in that office for not only taking my safety concerns seriously but taking action and giving me tools to feel secure as I navigated the flood of hatred every day.

As I said, I don't watch your show or read about you so I can't be sure, but I wouldn't put it past you to broadcast the contact details for the old guy's office. In your mind, I'm sure, you're providing the true American oppressed with the tools to express their anger and resentment at a fellow citizen, albeit a fellow citizen with the intelligence and wherewithal to break the Bank of England in a single day. I am writing to bring to your attention the fact that calls, letters and emails will not, in truth, be motivational for him. They will, however, serve to make harder the life of one more hardworking American who is, presumably, grateful to have a job these days, especially one with such comprehensive health benefits.

Please think of the secretary, GB, because I can give you a solid gold guarantee that the old guy isn't giving even a passing thought to you.



  1. I'm such a dipstick! I had the wrong GB in mind when I first started reading this.

    You sure had a nice view from that office, though!

  2. I was wondering if you would address this. There are no words to express my disdain for GB (I can barely bring myself to write his initials). He's going to be responsible for someone killing someone, and you can be sure that he'll have plausible deniability. He disgusts me.

  3. Well, the view from the office was great, but my back was always forcibly turned from it.

    I'm not kidding when I don't know what flipped GB's switch over GS but I do think it's hilarious. He disgusts me, too, but when he starts up on shit like this I take comfort that it proves how unbelievably clueless he is.

  4. Oh how I wish you could post this and name names. It would be a GREAT piece on The Huffington Post.

  5. My confidentially agreement expired over three years ago so I totally could. And I don't think it says anything bad about my former employer, either. How does one submit to the HuffPo? I have no idea how that works.