Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Special... Special... Oh, so... Special Relationship.

A (respectable) tart writes:

"It's hard to get to the top and find you're not right at the top. You've networked, brown-nosed, back-stabbed, and horse-traded all your working life. You've walked all over people you once loved. And then... when you get your prize you realise that... on the other side of the pond there is still someone bigger and better than you.

"Hello, I am speaking to you today as a respectable tart. And I can honestly say that I understand the above predicament. I have spent my entire life in the company of people ostensibly more powerful than myself (that is to say, senior politicians). And time and time again, I hear the same old refrain: "What's the point of being Secretary of State (for something or other) when you still have to answer to someone even more powerful than yourself?"

"And shall I tell you what I say? I say: Well, Honey (or Right Honourable Honey), this is clearly the wrong kinda relationship you're in. Or else you ain't doing it right. I say, just because someone else is boss, it doesn't actually mean they're boss. Know what I mean?"

"No!"  The Secretary of State (for something or other) might frequently respond. "I don't know quite what you mean. Please expand, if you wouldn't mind."

And I reply: "It's rather like being a respectable tart (which is indeed what I am.)"

"I then proceed to tell the Secretary of State (for something or other) that though I am a respectable tart, he is nevertheless expected to treat me as "The Boss" if he knows what's good for him. For if he does not treat me as "The Boss" he will end up lacking the gratification that he is manifestly seeking on this (or any other) occasion. My client tends to go along with my analysis of the situation and sees that although the "Special Relationship" that exists between us is not altogether equal in purely socio-economic terms, I am still entitled to an enormous amount of respect. He is required to make a big effort. Indeed, he might well go further, perhaps getting down on his hands and knees, playing the part of the supplicant from time to time, and licking my boots clean if necessary.

"And so it is with all "Special Relationships", I do believe. Do not become  disheartened when the relationship at times appears unbalanced, unequal. Do not swing from one extreme where you are cold and aloof, and where you reject your boss.... to the other extreme where you simply bend over and just take it and take it and take it (whilst whimpering occasionally). At all times, play the true tart and ensure that "Special Relationship" survives, not simply because you need it, but also because the client wants it... really, really wants it. Make the client understand that what he gets out of it depends on what he put into it! Then that "Special Relationship" might just work. Who knows?

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