Today’s first question on Agony Aunt Friday comes from Aaron R., of Chico, Calif., who writes, “So I’ve got all this unused gruntlement and no place to put it. Can you help?”
Well, Aaron, thanks for writing, and no, we can’t help. But that would be too short a segment, so let’s pretend we can. Oh, and before we begin, a hat tip to Barry in Brooklyn for alerting us to your situation.
We know a bit about your CV, you being a massively public figure and all, and being unhappy is a normal state of mind in your business. You have to have a few loose gerbils in the gearbox to do that thing, even at the level you do it, and it is surely infuriating to know that you can’t just flit off to another job just because your current job allegedly sucks. The problem you have is timing. You may have been hinting hither and yon about not being completely fulfilled by your pleasant place of employment (and everyone who broke the story of your unhappiness Thursday did an excellent job of not saying much about it before that, when it might have done you some good), but your problem is that your present employer maintains the leverage of your future whereabouts.
Unless, of course, your new team is going to be Merv Griffin Enterprises. You can always do show business whenever you want, the way Jim Brown did in 1966 because he’d rather spend his time with Lee Marvin than Frank Ryan.
As for your other thing, well, that’s the beauty of autocracy in the workplace. Your leverage ends at the edge of your bosses’ tolerance, and we’ve already seen how quickly they treated the phone call from your preferred destination. John Lynch got tinnitus from the loudness of Brian Gutekunst disconnecting the call, and that’s saying something when you consider that nobody has actually slammed down a phone in years. That is an underrated joy now lost to the realities of our new technocracy.
Now it may be that your bosses might get the heebie-jeebies (another great wordplay concept being lost to antiquity) when it comes time to consider the $44 million in salary and bonus payments past and future that would accrue to a employee with Gruntlement-19, but so far they’ve budgeted that money for you and seem unfazed by the notion of having to pay it. The game show gig would pay at least 75 percent less (Alex Trebek made $10M/year), and your plan seems to have been to do both, so in the unlikely event that Merv would pay you at Alex’s rate, that would still be $50M/year, give or take an OTA fine.
But it is always important that you have the confidence and forbearance to do you, whatever that is. You should enter this next month either with your gruntle at full sail, willing to give up the football thing on principle, or sigh through another year knowing that your bosses have not exactly bent the knee much on your behalf. I mean, they took a cornerback last night, if that’s any hint. And the 49ers did their due diligence and drafted a different new quarterback, in case there’s need for a second.
You did get maximum noise out of the timing of this, and fair play to you on that. It’s just that noise fades, and your bosses are banking on that again. Were we you, we’d consider all our life options, professional, interpersonal, and otherwise, and then have a beer. It may not change what disgruntles you, but it will make you focus less on the grunt.