I kind of know Randall Stephenson. I haven’t met him face to face, but I’ve talked to several of the people in the same organization where he works. Some of whom I have met face to face. It hasn’t always been fun , but what is?
Actually, I haven’t thought of Randall for quite a while. Not since I filed a complaint against his company with the FCC. (Well, me and 66,347 other folks.) At the time, all I wanted was for his world’s largest telecommunications corporation to respond to an 8 month old complaint. He did, by disconnecting my long distance service. Well, first he disconnected the service, but that was only for a couple of days. And then the FCC must have let him know he had an unhappy customer on his hands, so he reconnected my service and credited my account $150. Did I ask him to do that? No. It was all out of the kindness and generosity of his heart and I’ve been meaning to call him and tell him how much it has meant to me. I haven’t gotten around to it, but that’s where my head has been for several weeks now.
Alas, today I was jolted into some sort of depressing awareness that my actions had consequences. I’m feeling droopy because I might well be responsible for his drop in pay. Eight percent drop —> -8% <—- in only one year! Who else could be at fault? And if that’s not bad enough, his company’s profit ranking fell 79%. This isn’t chickenfeed people!
So, naturally, I’m droopy and wondering how he is coping. He is a youngish guy with kids and a mortgage and, just like so many others in this beleaguered country, he needs that paycheck. Maybe I should do the right thing and return the $150. It might bring a little smile to his face.
I hope this isn’t true, but maybe you’re one of those Me First people who just takes takes takes and never gives gives gives. Makes me sad to think about it. Put yourself in his shoes: his 8% loss rounds up to $2.03 million dollars. Imagine you’re poor Randall! You have your AT&T U-verse bill coming due! (Well, perhaps being AT&T’s CEO brings discounts on your utilities unless you’ve subscribed to Comcast on the sly.) Whatever. I’m not here to judge. Just please, while you’re rolling in the bucks, remember not everyone is as fortunate as you. Maybe, to show a fellow human being your sense of brotherhood, you could send him 8% of your pay. To even things out a little bit. You know. Just to be nice.