My mother was a good golfer. Not the best, but quite good nevertheless.
She taught me how to play golf when I was in eighth grade and it became my favorite sport ever since. It is so much fun to pick up a stick and hit the ball with power.
When I turned eighteen and got my degree in college, I moved out of my house and started working in a small office in downtown Porto Alegre.
One rainy afternoon, one week after starting working there, an email came into my inbox from the boss asking me to come over to his office when I arrived at work that day. Of course, this made me nervous as hell because I didn’t know what was about to come.
I rang the office doorbell and his secretary welcomed me inside with a warm smile, so I knew something good was up. As soon as I got in, I saw my boss standing at his desk looking anxious. He quickly asked me to have a seat and told me that he had important things to talk about. I sat down on one of the couches in front of his desk and waited for him to speak.
He looked into my eyes for a while, then said: “Oscar, you are an excellent worker here at our company.” He paused for a second or two before continuing: “You’ve been working here for almost three years now…” Another short pause… Then: “…and I’d like to give you something…”
“But before doing that, there are some things about your job that you need to know.”
At this point, my heart was beating so fast and hard it hurt. I thought he was going to fire me or tell me we were moving the company somewhere else. Anything but what followed: “As you know, golf is a great sport and there’s lots of money in it… But not for people who work at small companies like ours. So I am giving you an option: if you want to keep working here as an account manager, then…” And then came the sentence that made me change my life forever: “…you will have to become the best golfer ever, and I will pay for your lessons.”
I stared at him, wide-eyed. “And if you don’t want to keep working here, then you can leave the company now with no problems whatsoever.”
“Well…” He spoke again: “…if that’s what you want, I will give you one week to think about it… It is a big decision anyway. Is everything clear?” Then he got up from his chair and said goodbye with a hug. I left his office after shaking hands with him and closed the door behind me.
My brain was racing so fast I couldn’t process anything. What my boss just told me would change my life forever, although in either case, my job was at stake. Either way, I had a week to decide: either keep the job and become the best golfer ever or leave and pursue my dreams as a golfer.