Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Oil and Water

Two executives in a large organization. Both are extremely capable. They've worked well together on several projects and, while doing so, have hidden a central fact of their relationship:

They can't stand one another.

Each could probably list certain things about the other that are objectionable and yet the dislike is almost biological. They can barely stand to be in the same room.

One finds the situation irritating. The other, although equally repulsed, finds it amusing.

They've never spoken to one another about their mutual antipathy. Co-workers can sense some tension. Strangers sometimes pick up on the vibrations but are thrown off by the fact that each man, for the most part, behaves professionally toward the other.

At least in the open. Behind the scenes, the irritated one occasionally tries to undermine his amused "rival." The amused one regards the relationship as a mystery of life.

And perhaps it is.

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