Friday, December 9, 2011

The Albert Pujols waterskiing yacht hypothesis

I know, that sounds like a title of an episode of "The Big Bang Theory" but it has more to do with television than you might think.

Yesterday St. Louis Cardinal icon Albert Pujols signed a 254 million dollar contract with the Angels. Think about that number for a moment. A quarter of a billion dollars. Those are the kinds of numbers thrown around in Congress when we're talking budget cuts.

Anyway, by all accounts Albert was blissfully happy in St Louis, one of America's best baseball towns. The fans adored him, he was seemingly a good guy who stayed out of the police blotter, and on his way to the Hall of Fame.

Bottom line, the guy had a great life.

But he turned down about 220 million from the Cardinals.

So amazingly, once again, we must quote Charlie Sheen. (Not the tiger blood Internet Charlie Sheen, but the Bud Fox Charlie Sheen from the movie Wall Street.)

"How many yachts can you waterski behind?"

-Charlie Sheen to Michael Douglas

Basically Sheen's character is wondering, "How much money can you possibly spend?" Which brings us to a question for Albert: What's the difference between 220 million and 254 million? (And yes, I know it's 34 million, but that's not the point.) Second question: How are you going to feel when all those notoriously laid back LA fans leave the stadium in the seventh inning to beat the traffic?

And that brings me back to an anchor I know who was very successful in a decent sized market. He'd been there several years, was very popular. He liked management, management liked him. Good company.

So contract time rolls around and he hires an agent who plays hardball. Asks for more money. A lot more money. Won't budge on the figure.

You guessed it, finally the station moved on and rescinded its offer. Which left that anchor scrambling for another job. He ended up moving to a place he didn't like, and didn't stay there when that contract ended. Bottom line, the happy job experience was gone forever.

I got an email from someone recently who was very happy in her job, making a great salary, loved her company and co-workers, yet was still looking to move on.

Perhaps she hasn't realized she can only waterski behind one yacht.

You can't put a price on comfort and happiness. As someone who has worked in places I loved and places I hated, I can tell you all the money in the world won't make a place you don't like any better. Think long and hard before leaving a perfect situation, because there aren't many out there.

If you've found your yacht, why look for another?


No comments: