Managing your social circle: How Squeaky Steve was holding me back.
ROBERT Kiyosaki says in his fantastic book Rich Dad, Poor Dad that you must get rid of your friends that don’t share your vision of success. He is, of course, absolutely right. It’s time to separate the wheat from the awkward and unattractive.
Steven Mundy was my best friend from the age of five. Due to a nervous nature and a defect in his larynx he unfortunately spoke with a squeak and was therefore nicknamed ‘Squeaky Steve’. He sounded like someone was trying to strangle a Robin in his voice box.
Our childhood years were blissful, he was then the perfect friend and I loved him like a brother. In the summers we’d play games of Prawn, where I would paint him pink and attach tendrils to his head and torso. In the winter we’d receive prank phone calls.
I always stuck by him. Once an astronaut came into a school assembly and picked Steve to try on a space suit. Unfortunately this led to Steve getting an erection. Despite the merciless teasing Steve maintained that, ‘until they tried one on, they would never understand the excitement of being inside a complex system of garments and environmental systems designed to keep a person alive in the harsh environment of outer space’. On another occasion he was taunted into getting in Winston Churchill’s bed and consequently thrown out of Blenheim Palace and banned from all future school trips.
After school Steve and I partnered up in the corporate world and it was then that the problems in our relationship emerged. CEOs and account executives did not like Steve’s squeaky voice. On one occasion he read out some financial analysis of a leading global investment bank but ended up sounding a bit like Axel F by Harold Faltermeyer.
Steve was not a friend I needed if I was to become an international business success and so I was forced to sever the ties of our relationship. It was actually easier than I thought because a refined crowd of young businessmen quickly adopted me. We played golf, we flew business class and we always spoke in an appropriate frequency.
I don’t know what happened to Squeaky. Someone told me he got a job in a Dolphin display in Dolphin Harbour Miami Seaquarium. The woman who told me was making it sound cool, but he can’t be earning more than thirty grand.
I rarely think about him, but when I hear the occasional creak of an un-oiled door hinge or the sound of a teaspoon going into tightly packed hot chocolate I think, ‘thanks for the memories Steve, but those squeaks were holding me back’.
Dr Morris O’Connor is the best selling author of Cull Them Now: Ditching Your Pointless Friends.