I just want to be a leader. I just want someone to come up to me and say something like, “People look up to you Rob, you’re a real leader.” But I want it to be natural. So if you’re reading this and you’re thinking that you’ll just tell me how great of a leader I am the next time that we run into each other, just save it, all right, because it won’t be the same, it won’t be what I’m looking for. I don’t want to have to ask to be recognized as a leader, I want people to just see it. Unless of course you were going to say it anyway, and you just happened to read this, then go ahead, call me a leader. But if this paragraph is the first time that you’ve ever considered the words Rob and leader in the same sentence, don’t bother, I don’t want to have to go fishing for leadership compliments.
What I really want to be is a hero. I’d just love to be recognized for some sort of heroism. The subway hero, that guy was a total hero, and he didn’t ask for it, the universe just put him in a situation where his natural heroics shone through. That’s exactly what I feel like, a regular hero, but I haven’t been given that opportunity to really display what I’m made of. And how do you go about setting something like that up? You can’t. I can’t just push somebody on the subway and then go ahead and attempt a rescue. That’s not heroism at all. That’s just crazy.
No, I wish people looked up to me like a teacher. But not in an official teaching capacity. I’m not certified, and I really don’t see myself going through the whole getting-your-masters-in-teaching thing. But like a regular unofficial teacher. I wish that, if people didn’t know how to do something, they’d naturally gravitate toward me, thinking things like, well, Rob must know how to do this, he’ll show me, he’s a great teacher. And after I’m done, they’d say something like, “Thanks a lot Rob, you’re a natural.” But I haven’t had any opportunities like that, none that I can think of. I remember one time a while back one of my coworkers at the restaurant asked me if I knew how to clean the whipped cream machine. And I said yes, even though I had no idea how to clean the whipped cream machine. But I thought to myself, how hard could it be? And then the next thing I know, the boss was screaming at both of us, mostly at me, something about, “Why did you say you knew how to clean out the whipped cream machine? What’s wrong with you?”
At least a trusted friend, I’d love to have all of my friends call me up at different times throughout the year and, after really long and deep conversations, they’d say to me, “Rob, you’re a great friend, a really trusted friend, thanks.” But no, and I guess a lot of the blame is mine. Whenever somebody calls me, I always let it go to voicemail. And then I almost always respond with a text message. I just can’t shake that fear that I’m not going to be able to think of anything to say, and it’ll be this weird back-and-forth silence, but not even, because I’m too afraid of letting even a second go by without any words, and so I’m always just pulling conversation filler out of nowhere, peppering every ten seconds with words like, “Yeah,” and, “Sounds good,” or, “I’m just loving the weather today.”
Just once, I’d like to walk in on two of my bosses saying something like, “Man, Rob is such a dependable worker.” But every time I head into the office, the most I ever get is something like, “Come on Rob, you’ve got to knock before you come in here.” And I know you’re supposed to knock, it’s just that I thought they saw me through that glass window in the door. And yeah, it’s my own fault, I’m always struggling to not be five or ten minutes late. And I did spill half a bottle of wine on some lady a while back, that was a pretty big deal, I should be grateful that my bosses let that slide. But doesn’t my hard work throughout the rest of the day make up for it? Isn’t hard work the same as being dependable? Don’t you think a few unasked for compliments might propel me to that next level of even harder work and greater dependability?