- DJ Gallo, ESPN.com
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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is reportedly set to cash in on his remarkable run to a Super Bowl title by becoming the richest player in the history of NFL football.
In additional to making Flacco wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, the deal means Joe Linta, Flacco’s representative, is the hottest agent in football.
Could Linta’s skills transfer from football to other sports? To other professions?
What if Joe Linta were the agent of some random employee at an average company in middle America? Would he achieve the same results he got for Flacco? Let’s find out.
[Scene: A corner office inside a nondescript building in an office park. The intercom on the boss’ desk buzzes.]
Boss: Yes, Sheryl?
Sheryl: [over the intercom] There is man to see you, sir. He says he is an agent. He doesn’t have an appointment.
Boss: OK. I guess I have a few minutes. Send him in.
[The door opens.]
Linta: Hi. I’m Mr. Linta.
Boss: Hello, Mr. Linta. Take seat. What can I do for you?
[Linta sits down in a chair in front of the boss’ desk.]
Linta: I am Joe’s agent.
Boss: His agent? Agent of what?
Linta: His agent to negotiate his new salary.
Boss: Huh? Wait. Joe who?
Linta: Joe. One of the guys in your sales department.
Boss: Oh. Right.
Linta: Let’s talk numbers.
Boss: Whoa whoa whoa. Hold on a minute. I’m sorry, but why is Joe sending an agent to ask for a raise?
Linta: He’s not a great communicator. In fact, he’s quite dull, as you likely noticed, and really isn’t regarded as much of a leader either. But someone can still be a top-five salesman without having a great personality.
Boss: Top-five salesman? Is this a joke? I really don’t follow you at all.
Linta: Joe has been making the same amount of money for five years. It’s time he is paid what he deserves.
Boss: Look, I’m not against giving people a raise, but I know Joe’s work over these past five years and it’s often been average or below, and that’s if I’m being nice. Aside from a few instances here or there, you can make a strong case that he has been single-handedly preventing this company from reaching its potential for years. In fact, I’ll be honest with you, we had serious internal discussions as recently as December about letting him go.
Linta: But he’s had a really good month since then.
Boss: A really good month?
Linta: An elite month.
Boss: What the ... what are you talking about? Elite? What does that even mean?
Linta: Look at his last month. He didn’t miss one day. Not a sick day, not a personal day. He was on time for work every day. He never left early. And he played a major part in getting this company one of its biggest customers ever.
Boss: Again, I feel like this is a joke. This is a joke, right? Did my golf buddies put you up to this? Was it Bill? A prank like this would be classic Bill.
Linta: I assure you it is not a joke.
Boss: Wow. OK, all that stuff you said that Joe did in the past month is fine and good. But it’s just doing his job. And it was only one month. One month versus five years! I appreciate what he did in getting that new customer, I really do and I told Joe that and I hope it’s a sign of more to come from him, but we have a lot of great employees here who have been productive for this company for years and years. And for all that Joe did, we wouldn’t have gotten that account if that Denver company competing against us for it hadn’t completely botched the end of their presentation. How would it look to everyone else here if, after years of holding us back, I gave Joe a raise?
Linta: That was a really, really big new customer he got you.
Boss: He helped get us. We are a team here. And again, if I’m being honest, we probably would have gotten one or two other accounts of that size in recent years if it wasn’t for him. But, fine. He did a great job on that one. He really did. I’m a reasonable man. How does a 10 percent raise sound? That’s a nice raise in this economy.
Linta: I want him to be the highest-paid.
Boss: [Laughing] I’m sorry, what? The highest-paid salesman?
Linta: No. More.
Boss: Are you kidding me? You want him to be the highest-paid employee in this company?
Linta: No, no. Not even close. We want him to be the highest-paid person in the history of this industry.
Boss: For one month?
Linta: You got it. Highest-paid. Ever. You have to give it to him because you have no leverage.
Boss: I don’t think you understand what the word “leverage” means.
Linta: Semantics. Let’s get back to business. Highest-paid ever in this industry. Make it happen. Draw up the papers and I’ll have Joe sign them.
Boss: I ... don’t know what to say ... I just ... sit right here. I’ll be right back.
Linta: Glad we could get this done.
[The boss leaves the room and returns a minute later. There are tears in his eyes.]
Linta: Locking up an employee of this caliber for a company can be emotional.
Boss: Is laughter an emotion?
Linta: What’s that? I didn’t hear what you said.
Boss: Nothing. OK, let me ask again: This isn’t a prank that my buddies put you up to? Bill isn’t behind this?
Linta: No. No way.
Boss: And you want Joe, off of one good month, to become the highest-paid person in the history of this entire industry?
Linta: You got it.
Boss: And you understand how giving him that kind of money would require me to make an extremely risky bet with a massive amount of money that his last month wasn’t an aberration? And that by giving him that much money, I wouldn’t be able to pay some of our other employees or sufficiently address needs this company has?
Linta: Ten-four. It’s a good deal for you, right?
Boss: [pressing his intercom button] Hey, Sheryl. Yeah, send in security.
[The office door opens and Linta is removed by building security officers.]
Boss: And make sure you take Joe with him, too.