Wednesday, July 22

The Middleman

Middlemen are reliable friends that serve as a go-between. Sometimes labeled: The Listener. Dubbed: The Cleaner. Alias: The Fixer. All arguments, love stories, trials, secrets, pondering, and revelations within the group are made in confession like ways to Middleman. These creatures of habit hold a thankless job requiring the ability to multi-task, decipher code, plan and prepare to prevent future mishaps, an eye for detail, and a great deal of tact. Middlemen shuffle information around like Recon Missions. They understand who needs to know what, and when – if at all.

For example…my middleman went on a road trip with a friend whom I’ve had my eye on. During their conversations my middleman made note of all dialogue that directly pertained to me. If the dialogue went astray he skillfully geared it back – without arousing suspicion. Afterwards, he filtered out what he believed should stay on a need-to-know basis, and delivered the rest to me. Now I know where I stand with the aforementioned friend - key information that helped me avoid a potentially embarrassing situation. In turn, I realize that any comments I made regarding that person was sent through the same filtering process and systematically delivered to the friend. You must always assume that he is the other friend's Middleman as well. So you only ask the questions you don’t mind being mentioned in return. Only fill your Middleman with information that you are not ashamed to have repeated.

Maybe you think it’s a horrible mistrust to use a Middleman to take care of my dirty business, but we all use one, maybe he or she is not on the books, maybe its’ just under the table work. But it’s completely legit because everyone is aware of the middleman’s job – he isn’t covert. You don’t think both parties are aware of the Middleman – please. They might not want to acknowledge the existence and need for one but they’re sure as hell not above using one.

All you need is an organized system; simple ground rules, perhaps you should add a disclaimer if you want to make absolutely sure your information stays with only him. Just make sure your disclaimer is mentioned at the start of the conversation to avoid confusion for the Middleman, information not officially sworn in at the beginning of a conversation can be stored in the wrong part of the Middleman’s brain and can therefore be sensitive to leaks.

There are a few minor medical side effects for the Middleman. Too much information coming in and not enough information going out can bring on bouts of nervous twitching, ulcers, migraines, high stress levels, addictions, lapse in memory, and occasionally temporary slap marks (due to information begged for, but not accepted relay). As of late my Middleman has started to exhibit these signs of job stress. The charts he used to keep up with all the information coming in versus what he doled out has started to converge-everything is a blur.

I used to be able to combat the symptoms by coaxing him into his favorite diner (familiarity is an essential key), tempting him with a stack of warm buttermilk pancakes, and a side of corned beef hash (comfort food). I’d wait until I could see the glaze of warm syrup that spread across his Pancake Mountain reflected in his eyes. Ever so slightly I’d increase the level of coffee in his cup (speeds up the heart rate, upping the level of information received). But now, he’s unresponsive to any motivational tricks.

Yes, my Middleman is running out of steam. They say that Middleman don’t have long careers, something about lack of job advancement/quick burnout. Frankly, I’m afraid he’s faking it all, trying to buy time in order to unionize. Then they’ll all start striking, demanding things like…salaries, therapy reimbursement, health benefits, personal days. So here I am abusing my writing privileges in order to thank him for everything – an attempt to quail the situation. I’m thinking about Middleman appreciation day…I wonder if that will work.


The Redhead Riter said...

Enjoy a Tremendous Thursday!!!

otherworldlyone said...

So true.

Cute post.

The Politic's Chick said...

'Thanks' to the both of ya!