I Assume My Reputation For Arrogant Presumption Precedes MeCommentary • Opinion • coworkers • ISSUE 39•37 • Sep 24, 2003 By Carl Underberg Carl Underberg Okay, everyone, I'd like to begin. We're running rather late because I just showed up. Although I'm aware that you've all been standing around waiting for me for at least an hour, now that I'm here, it's me being inconvenienced. So, if you'll all please take your seats immediately—pronto, people! Finally, we can get started. I assume my reputation for arrogant presumption precedes me, so I'll be anything but brief. Surely, you're all familiar with much of what I'm about to say, but I'll say it anyway, because, as I'm sure you're all aware, I'm in love with the sound of my own voice. We'll be working together—and by "working together," I mean that you'll be working for me—for the next six to eight weeks. Now, I know how much you've been looking forward to meeting me, so it's only fitting that I make a few remarks that will allow you to get to know me better than you could while breathlessly observing my career from afar. I'm going to skip over some of my better-known, but still deeply fascinating, attributes, simply because I know you're well aware of them. Why wouldn't you be? I'm clearly the most interesting person you've ever heard of, let alone had the opportunity to meet in person, so I'm going to basically do this exactly as my whims instruct me. Ahem. I hate to interrupt my own self-aggrandizing monologue, but what's the problem with this coffee? I always take cream and two sugars. I assumed you would know that without being told, but evidently you pinheads have some kind of, I don't know, some kind of sugar shortage. Hello? Are you people deaf? Coffee? Snap to it! I can't believe what I'm forced to put up with. I'm the only guy in the room worth a goddamn nickel, and you backwoods hill people can't even show enough consideration to do some research on how I take my coffee. Preparation, people. But I digress. We were talking about me. A few quick words on the subject of my egotism, since I know how much you all must admire it. Ah, my precious egotism. What can be said that has not already been said by others, albeit less mellifluously? My ostentation is truly without parallel. I was placed on this earth by the loving hand of God as a gift for lower gentry to look up to and emulate. But I'm sure you all knew that, as my characteristics are often the subject of others' conversations. Boastful and self-important? I've bragged of everything from my golf game to my ludicrously expensive automobile to the size of my perfect dick. Maybe someday, I'll let you curl up at my feet, and I will delight your eager ears with talk of such matters. Rude and insensitive? Ha! You'll never meet anybody less sensitive than I am. Can you hear me? Base? Fuck yes! Patronizing? Indubitably. (That means 'yes,' in case I lost you there.) Inappropriate to the point of being downright sexist? Believe it, sweet-cheeks. But these are only a few facets of the rare and beautiful gem that is Carl Underberg. For I am a gem that can be held up to the light, turned over and over, and admired for hours on end by a jeweler—as you are looking forward to doing in the coming weeks, no doubt. It's inevitable that some of you will find yourselves attracted to me, so I might as well get this next part over with now. Regarding short-term office romance: Do not attempt to date me unless I initiate. Look, unless you are one of the tiny fraction of young, beautiful colts whom I look down upon with favor, don't bother me. For the next six to eight weeks, my needs are more vital than your needs. Let me put it in terms simple enough for dullards like you to grasp: I am more important than you. Therefore, you and I both care much more about me than we do about anybody else, especially you. Do not impart to me, even unintentionally, any sense of your own existence at any time. I want to particularly stress this point. Let's say I should forget your name, or incorrectly blame a mistake on you, or have an irrational mood swing and throw something at you. I not only expect you to tolerate it; I expect you to have anticipated and dealt with it before it even happened. Got it? Think of this as your chance to be happy by helping to make me happy. That is your primary concern. Well, I think I've wasted enough of my time explaining things that you should already know. I look forward to the exciting opportunities this team will face in the coming weeks. Let's hope things go smoothly. They will, provided that you cater to my every whim while I work my magic.