‘Why I Want to Be A Corporate Director’

Dear Human Resources Manager:

Hi! I’m writing to apply for a position on your board of directors. While I have only modest knowledge of polymer-based hollow-rod extrusion, stenciling and vapor recovery — and no actual office experience per se — I am eager to be well-paid for little or no work.

You might wonder whether, amid the current scrutiny of passive corporate boards, hiring a zero like me would “send the wrong message” to regulators. Good question. The answer is no.

In fact, it’s precisely because of all the attention that you need a nonentity like me. Chances are, like a lot of other big public companies, you’re probably scrambling to stay ahead of the investigative curve, just in case the focus shifts from professional services to obscure, large-scale industrial fabrication, which judging from your Web site seems to be what you do.

To pull this off, you’re going to need to move fast. And the last thing you need is a meddler on the board, someone who just “doesn’t get it” when it comes to understanding the role of a corporate director.

Well, I “get it.” And I can assure you that I seek no actual involvement in anything even remotely related to business activities or operations. Me, I’m happy to come to Cleveland once a quarter to rubber-stamp the hocus-pocus your chief financial officer certifies and gorge myself on the lunch platters, pudding and Diet Cokes. We’ll shake a few hands and you’ll go your way, I’ll go mine, and we’ll all go home sleepy, fat and happy.

The other thing is, you don’t have to worry about me boasting to the business press about how great a company we are and how I’m helping to add to “shareholder value.” Believe me, that’s the last thing I could care about. When I’ve got a good gig going, it’s low-profile city all the way, unlike some of these other overpaid corporate courtiers, like Whatshername who’s married to that Texas senator and that whole military-industrial-interlocking-corporate-directorate crowd. Those types are a lightning rod for muckrakers and whistleblowers. The only whistles I’m interested in blowing are the party favors at the fourth-quarter board and staff blowout.

I’m having my resume done right now. But in the meantime, let me just say that I’m also:

  • good at pretending to follow long, boring presentations when I have no idea what people are talking about;
  • happy to make decisions affecting thousands of people’s lives based on little or no information;
  • great at retreats and mixers; and
  • eager to improve my short game. “Golf early, golf often,” that’s my motto.

My hope is that you’ll see through my lack of discernible credentials and recognize the pliant yes-man within. I’ll call you next week to schedule an interview. Assuming things work out to our mutual satisfaction, I can start by the end of the month. I usually like to give two weeks’ notice, then take a week off before starting a new thing. But since I’m kind of “between things” right now, I could probably move the start date up a hair.

Thanks for your time. I look forward to speaking with you and to starting a profitable, filling and ridiculously easy career feeding at the corporate trough. Until then,

All the Best,

Rich Pliskin



Career, HR