A sports talk caller was ripping a Steeler for blowing off training camp. "Dat just don't fly in a hard-workin' town like Pittsburgh," he concluded.

Maybe I should pull over and compose myself, I thought.

In my industry, there's a position called a program manager, or "PM" for short. They do not manage people, yet they're responsible for marshaling them toward the greater group goals. I've always avoided this job like it's gonorrhea. All of the responsibility without any of the authority? What you've got there is the cure for happiness.

Which brings us back to Pittsburgh. I have to PM every last person here, especially the people I hire. If I do not call a person with whom I made an appointment to remind them of their commitment, they reliably do not show up. “Oh, you still wanted to meet?” they’ll say later, with some difficulty because of their constricted windpipe. They do not understand my anger, and although it took me a while to wrap my head around it, I now understand why. No one here is expected to do their job. They’re not expected to do it well. You can reliably expect them only to blow you off and to later act as though man, you sure is patikilar.

I’d bet $20 that the caller was at work when he called, doing absolutely nothing except billing.

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