May 25, 2009

My Conversation with Manny

By Paul Bieber

Friday afternoon, about 2:30 local time, I am at my desk working hard to beat my computer at solitaire, the phone rings…

Paul: Hello.

Voice: This is Manny calling. Is Paul Bieber, the noted glass columnist and consultant there?

Paul: I’m here…Manny–do I know you?

Manny: Of course you do; you follow baseball like a cat follows a mouse. This is Manny formerly of the Indians, the Red Sox, and temporarily on vacation from the Dodgers.

Paul: What can I do for you Manny? Do you have a glass question that I can help with?

Manny: Well, you see, I have been suspended for fifty games, costing me around eight million dollars in lost wages. I hear you might need another consultant to help you.

Paul: Well, I have great people now, but let’s see, Manny, what do you know about glass? And can you teach it?

Manny: OK, Paul. Glass is very important. It can keep beer cold, coffee hot, and special medicines come in glass syringes.

Paul: Manny, we deal in architectural glass, like windows and buildings, not food or container glass.

Manny: Of Course, I knew that. I can hit a bill through a window at 400 feet.

Paul: Uh, Manny, have you ever worked with glass?

Manny: Well, not really, but I can help Bieber Consulting by being a motivational speaker about employee practices. You know every glass business should have an employee manual, detailing things like when you get to work, how you get paid, and, uh, substance abuse. I have lots of experience in showing up for work…and other things. I can motivate all those glaziers to follow the rules so they don’t get suspended. Most glaziers can afford an eight million dollar fine, but, still, it does cut into the beer money.

Paul: Manny, that sounds very interesting, but do you think you are the right person to be a role model for all the people in the glass industry?

Manny: Why Paul, of course. I have worked around the country. I work day and night, and I never complain when we go to extra innings, considering I don’t get overtime after nine innings.

Paul: Well, Manny, you do make an interesting case for me to think about.

Would you consider getting a haircut and wearing a suit?

Manny: Paul, here is my bottom line. I want you to get me an assignment helping a glass company in a small town somewhere, well, somewhere where there will be no reporters to follow me.

Paul: Manny, I have three of open job orders, but two are in Boston, and one in New York. Can you hack it?

Manny: Thanks anyway Paul. I heard of a construction company looking for someone to help them at the end of their jobs. Something about being their clean-up person. I am the best clean-up hitter there is. See you there.

You just can’t make things like this up. Indeed, truth is stranger than fiction.