A chart named Bob.

Chris Maley
4 min readSep 18, 2023

When I saw this chart for the first time, the initial thought that popped into my head was, Well looky here, it’s Bob.

Bob, but in chart form.

I used to work with Bob. You might have worked with Bob. Ever done a stint for a company that was owned by a publicly-traded entity or a private equity firm? Then you could have crossed paths with a manager who was great at nickling-and-diming but not-so-great at fostering economic growth, personifying what is shown in this chart.

They were the billionaire-friendly ones. Rentier capitalism is their capitalism. Passive-income blowhards who give bootstrappy speeches about hard work love the Bobs of the world. The Bobs are well aware that the old business adage the customer is always right has been replaced with the investor is always right.

Please, think of the yachts.

When your company’s core product or service isn’t really your company’s core product or service because the speculator-bros need gambling money, it’s weird. The people who should be in charge are not in charge and the ones who run things remind you of the officer in the war epic who gets fragged by his own troops.

Customers and clients and consumers and whoever, you keep wondering where they fit into the equation — besides providing shareholders with piles of casino chips, I mean.

Sure, we all got paid, too. But we workers got paid for work…you know…which is how the whole commerce model has functioned for at least a few millennia now. And speaking of financial rewards, remember the days when raises happened? Welp…here’s the thing: yachts.

In all honesty, I didn’t work with Bob too often, so most of my horror stories from back in the day are others’ stories, recountings told by co-workers over beers after work. Those times I helped out teams that worked with him, I just remember his Tucker Carlson hair and the fact that he was in the way more than anything else.

But in the years after my firing, Bob took on a whole new dimension. His name got brought up more and more by my ex-coworkers during catch-up conversations. From the way these employees talked, they saw Bob as one who had the power to eliminate their jobs. They lived in fear and walked on eggshells around him. Other names got…

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Chris Maley

I pay bills writing Websites, articles, ads, etc. Author of the Fearkiller dark comedy series. Check out my new book, Revolutionizer Alpha. chrismaley.com