On Being Nice

Nice.  For a word that has as it’s 5th definition “pleasing, agreeable, appropriate, fitting” (frankly I’m surprised that’s the 5th definition!  The first one is “wanton, dissolute” who knew?) it’s almost become a not so good thing to say about someone.  But I do believe that niceness wins out.  The other night I was running an errand when the news came on with a story about a very talented NFL player who was – surprise, surprise – unhappy where he was playing and was dropping hints he’d like to make a team switch.  This player is on his 4th team so far and he was looking to add a 5th if anyone would take a flyer on him.  The thing is, even though this player is immensely talented, the response from possible teams was underwhelming, at least in the press I was hearing.  The player has a reputation for being difficult, selfish and polarizing.  In short, not very nice.  His schtick is wearing thin.  He is now a veteran of over a dozen years, his age is starting to catch up with him and teams are no longer interested in paying his non-monetary price for skills that aren’t as sharp as they once were.  He isn’t nice to be around and they no longer need to tolerate him as new players had risen to the top.  Now I’m making some really huge assumptions here based on press reports and reported behavior.  I don’t know this person nor do I know anyone in the NFL.  Although I do have “aging veteran” John Carney‘s college jersey from Notre Dame as I once had a crush on him.  It kills me when they call him that-I’m older than he is.

Anywho, back to the point at hand.  I don’t know if this player will end up at another team or make peace where he is.  But the facts of the story illustrate that people will tolerate genius without courtesy for only so long.  The almost-as-good person that is great to have in the locker room, part of the sales team or on a set will have a much longer and more lucrative career than flash in the pan man who’s only out for himself.  I try to keep that in mind whenever I go in for an audition or a meeting.  I may not be as skinny, talented or pretty as some of the other ladies, but I know I can be one of the nicest and most professional.  That way I can hopefully have a 22 + year career just like John.  Only I hope I keep all my hair.  Sorry John.