February 20, 2004
How I Shall Seize Control of My Company
By David A. Zimmerman
Call me Absalom--that's the name of the role model for my upward mobility.
Wait--I'll save you some needless Googling. Absalom is a prince of ancient Israel, a son of King David who temporarily usurped his father's throne. You can read about him in 2 Samuel, which you can find at www.biblegateway.com.
Anyway, Absalom successfully unseated the most popular king of Israel's then two-king history, which makes him a highly practical model for my own naked ambition.
Now, banking on the likelihood that nobody who might challenge my meteoric rise to the top actually reads Strangely Dim, I'll share my strategy with you so you can pray for me and even apply it to your own relentless pursuit of power. Absalom made his play in three simple acts.
1. Absalom acted nicer than everyone above him; therefore I shall act nicer than everyone above me. Absalom and his father each won the hearts of the people at different times. David did it by being just a little bit crazy; Absalom did it by being a "man of the people."
This will be a bit difficult for me, since I actually am a little bit crazy, and the people above me are actually very nice. (Wink, wink--just in case they do read this.) Nevertheless, one of the cool things about being out of power is that the people in power have to make all the difficult decisions and (this is important) announce those decisions. I can simply commiserate with those affected by the decisions and "let them know I'm there for them." This was Jerry Seinfeld's strategy as he courted a woman in a troubled relationship; eventually he moved from "being there for her" to "being there." Brilliant.
2. Absalom acted smarter than everyone above him; therefore I shall act smarter than everyone above me. Absalom had opinions about everything, and his opinions usually made his audience feel better about themselves. Since I don't have to make the decisions for my company, I'm free to critique the decision-makers from the sidelines. This, by the way, is also my principal strategy for taking over my church.
3. Absalom recruited his father's staff and even slept with his father's harem. I'm reasonably confident that the powers that be in my company don't have harems, but there are plenty of other ways I can contribute toward a polarized work environment. Ask anyone. Once I take over, people will quickly shift their loyalties to me--if, that is, they know what's good for them.
That's it: three easy steps to a coup d'etat. Absalom pulled it off and enjoyed supreme power for a couple of weeks, until he was, of course, executed.
Like I said, pray for me.
Check out my secret identity at www.ivpress.com.