Life of Riley: The discreet charm of bosses


The discreet charm of bosses

How can I put this without giving offence? There are some in our society who live off the labour of others. Don't get me wrong. Most of us get along without recourse to such means, but there are an anonymous few who exploit their fellow human beings without compunction — and, what's more, they have been doing it unchallenged for years.
Does that seem so fantastic? Here is a conspiracy going on under our very noses, and no-one owns up to it. You won't read about it on the front page of the local daily, nor has Sixty Minutes covered the story.
But these types do exist. They're among us now.
Of course, if you live by such means, you are going to keep it a secret. No-one wants to be fingered for exploitation. You wouldn't be able to go out without someone pointing to you and saying: "There's one now. Let's spit on him."
That would encourage too much animosity and maybe much social unrest. So you wouldn't go around wearing a T-shirt which reads: "Hate Me, I'm the Boss". You would keep it to yourself and mainly try to mix with your own kind.
Once upon a time, you could flaunt it. You'd wear special clothes and jewels and force people to bow before you. While it worked for a time, it only made people angry and resentful. No matter how much you said that this is what God wanted, they would get testy and plan your overthrow.
So nowadays, mum's the word. Instead you pretend that what you've got is all your own work. When pressed for a comment, you explain: "I guess I'm the boss because I'm smarter than you". And since you are the boss, no-one is likely to find out otherwise because only close friends and relatives are enrolled in Boss School (a school in which there are no exams).
You see that, for boss people, this is the best of all possible worlds, and rather than have everyone else being envious about what you have and they have not, you divvy up some of your wealth and share it around — a little here and a little there. So when A gets more than C, A ensures than C doesn't get A's share, because if A and C got together there would be hell to pay and B — for Boss — would lose out completely.
So to stay number one, you need to be discreet, and it always helps to be charming. Despite occasional pangs of anxiety, being a boss is fun. This world was created just for you. Enjoy.
Dave Riley