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Conversations: Al Pacino On Job Offers

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Guy walks in with an envelope. Pacino is talking to the bartender. Guy sits down next to him

Al Pacino: That looks like a story. What do you have in the envelope?

Guy: It’s a job offer. They sent it over, and I told them I want to think about it over the weekend.

Al: The weekend? How long have you been interviewing?

G: 2 months.

Al: 2 months: And you just need..2..more..days. Just a little more time. 

G: Yeah - I want to make sure this is the right choice.

Al: I get it. You want to be smart about this. You want to take your time and make sure that if you’re jumping from one rock to the next, you don’t slip and fall. I get it. You want security. That’s good, it’s good to want security.  That’s what this is about, right? But uh, forgive me for intruding - life doesn’t work that way. You look at what’s in front of you, or you can peer back into the past, but life itself - is always moving forward. Every tick of the clock is one second closer to death, and we are all terrified of it. We know - we know we take nothing with us, but for today, well, we just want to put a little bit of space between us and the future. Right? 

Listen.

Jobs, promotions,  layoffs - what are they? An opportunity. An opportunity to make a little more, maybe to prove we have what it takes? Maybe a chance to fail, and in the process get a little tougher because we can’t shake the idea that maybe we had it too easy. A guy comes to you, asks if you want a job. What do you do? You call your mom. You think of buying your wife a mug that says San Diego. You check the weather app on your phone. What does it mean? You think looking at house prices is really going to make a difference? 

So what - what are we talking about. An offer? A decision to take an offer? No. We're talking about you. Your life is changing no matter what you do. Let’s say your boss leaves. You want their job. You get it, but you do not get a raise. What did you think was going to happen? Your bosses want the same security you want. They pay you more, then they gotta listen to the next sob story and the next, until their whole day is saying yes or no to people at their door, hat in hand, asking for just a little more. You want to be in that line? That’s security? No, If your bosses understood what they had, they'd already have paid you and you’d be sitting on the other side of that offer, waiting for some guy in a bar to tell you he needs the weekend to think about it.

Hey. You got an offer in hand. You should take your time. Call your mother. Talk about the past. But if you’re going to sit there, with your foot on the brake, checking to make sure that you’re okay, someone might pull into your spot. When they do - you’re going to find something about yourself. You might feel relief.. Well, relief feels good! At least, until it’s time to stand in line, with your hat in your hand, asking for just.. a little more. 

Guy: That’s, that's uh, some good advice. So what do you do?

Al: Pal, you got a decision in front of you and you want to push that off to talk to some guy in a bar? I tell you what I do. I don’t stand in lines.

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