“So, what’s it like in the real world? Well, the food is better, but beyond that, I don’t recommend it.” Bill Watterson, Kenyon College Commencement (1990)
Songwriter Steve Goodman believed he had penned “the perfect country and western song.” Entitled, You Never Even Called Me by My Name and released on Goodman’s 1971 debut album, it’s the lament of a man who felt disrespected in a relationship (an understatement!), but who nonetheless planned to “hang around as long as you will let me.” But Goodman was informed that his song couldn’t be the perfect country and western song because it didn’t say anything about “mama, or a train, or prison, or a pickup truck, or getting drunk.” And so Goodman penned a final verse:
Well, I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison
And I went to pick her up in the rain
But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck
She got run over by a damned old train
And so the perfect country and western song was written!
A couple of musical notes, here. First, if you know this song then you almost assuredly know the David Allan Coe cover version, which was released in 1975 and still receives airplay to this day. Second, Goodman co-wrote his song with the legendary John Prine, who didn’t think much of the tune and requested to be uncredited! Prine, by the way, passed away in 2020 and is criminally under-appreciated, in our opinion. Check him out on Spotify.
Speaking of perfect, and humbly submitted, Look Out Above! The Young Professional’s Guide to Success is the perfect gift for your son or daughter as they launch into the working world. Look Out Above! is specifically designed to help those in the first five or so years of their professional work life following undergrad or graduate school. It teaches critical workplace skills, specifically how to contribute, write, present, pitch ideas, lead, and advocate in the manner valued in the workplace. These are skills that we can virtually guarantee weren’t taught to your child in school, at any level. They certainly weren’t all bundled together in one package. In a crowded market, we’ve not seen any book like Look Out Above!. The value is threefold:
- Practical, proven, real-world content
- A focused, less-is-more approach
- Dual perspectives from both a young professional and a seasoned executive
The feedback we have received from many young professionals who have read Look Out Above! is that they find it invaluable, make notes throughout the book, and refer back to it as they progress.
What qualifies Nick and I to write such a book? Having spent some 30 years in executive management, including building two real estate companies of national scale, I (Bob) now teach at North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Co-author Nick is a millennial and an attorney/entrepreneur/writer. Nick is well-positioned to speak to the challenges faced today by young professionals, having experienced those challenges first-hand more recently during uncertain and challenging economic times. Nick is a graduate of the University of Georgia and holds a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Look Out Above! is available on Amazon (please click here to order). It has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, HR Digest, CBS News, and more for its value in helping young professionals transition into life in the workplace. To learn more about the work we are doing, please visit our website at BobAndNickSlater.com.
You’ve spent years preparing your young adult for this day – helping with homework, sweating out the SATs, agonizing over the college decision, and providing counsel in the job-search process. Now help your son or daughter succeed in their first job and begin to build the career of their dreams. Look Out Above! can advance their learning years beyond their age and get them on their way. Please check it out and see what you think!
Sources: Bill Watterson is the creator of the wonderful comic strip, Calvin & Hobbes. The quote above is from his 1990 commencement address at Kenyon College (his alma mater). The speech is terrific, and the full text can be found here.