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company going bankrupt? I'm hearing you say they should have kept
you on even though the company is going under.”
N: “I was important. I was a big deal in the company. I should have
been one of the last ones to go not one of the first.”
P: “Why do you think you were one of the first?”
N: “Because the bastards never did appreciate my hard work.”
P: “By hard work do you mean the number of hours you worked or
what you achieved.”
N: “Everyone knows that I worked my butt off.”
P: “But you haven't answered the question.”
N: “I mean I worked hard. Are you saying it didn't accomplish
P: “I'm asking.”
N: “Yeah, you're going to say I was a workaholic, right? Work hard
but accomplish little.”
P: “Are you a workaholic?”
N: “I've heard that before. Some people thought so.”
P: “What did those people say?”
N: “That I worked hard but didn't do much.”
P: “Is it true?”
N: “No way but you can see what they did to me. They must have
thought my work wasn't so red hot.”
P: “But you equate hard work with accomplishment. Might that be
the way you approached the job?”
N: “I was always very cautious at work. I didn't want
to make
P: “In this helping approach I use, we try and figure out the illogical
things people tell themselves that get them into trouble. It sounds like
you've been telling yourself that the harder you try not to make mis-
takes, the more you'll control the outcome, but it doesn't lead to bet-
ter work. It's just a way to protect yourself.”
N: “That's what my wife says. She says I can't make decisions and that
I always do the most cautious thing possible.”
P: “Who taught you that caution beats risk?”
N: “My dad. He never took a risk in his life. He figured the more
cautious you were, the more you had control and were vigilant, the
better things would be.”
P: “And did it work for him?”
N: “He was a failure at everything he ever did including being a father.”
P: “And you? How would you assess yourself?”
N: “Hell, I tried but my kids hate me and my wife's been talking
divorce after 35 years of marriage. I guess you could say I haven't
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