Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Calling All Metaphors

I realized yesterday that I'm apparently in the wrong profession. I'm missing out on my very own opportunity to make millions.

It all started with a project I'm working on. It's basically a development course for our call center staff to teach them how to manage "difficult" callers. One section of the training is about recognizing bad behavior in a caller for what it is and learning to let it go. While I was writing that section, I remembered a bulletin I'd read on MySpace. It was a reprinted editorial some guy had written comparing people with bad attitudes to trash trucks. It was a little over the top, but I figured by this point in a day-long seminar, the students might be up for a little story time. So, I tracked down the author's email address and wrote to get permission to reprint his article, b/c you know how I feel about plagiarism...

What I didn't realize was this thing was WAY bigger than just an article in some newspaper. This guy had turned his metaphor into a whole organization devoted to promoting happiness through the power of "positive psychology." He even had a degree in it. So, after a million emails and one phone meeting, I receive the proposal...Yep, reprinting this story was going to cost money. I just had no idea how much. The proposal listed several options, the most expensive being a day-long seminar hosted by the author, all of which could be ours for just over a hundred grand. To reprint just the article? A couple thousand plus a yearly renewal fee.

Needless to say, we don't quite have the budget for that on this particular project. But seriously, this guy took a metaphor (which according to the article was part of a story that someone else told him), stretched it out (too far in my opinion), and turned it into a business where one speaking engagement can make him twice as much as I make working a whole year. How do I get in on this?

I'm clearly the one who's got it all wrong. I need a metaphor, and I need one fast!

1 comment:

  1. like i'd share my golden metaphors haha

    but i hope you plagarized this guy...he's just asking for it.