How do you handle power?

A friend of mine is brilliant writer. Let’s call him Bill. (Not his real name.)

Bill’s published several books and one of them was made into a short film. 

The film made the rounds at film festivals where producers and directors look for short films to expand into feature-length films. 

Yeah, apparently, that's a thing.

Yesterday, I got this text from him.  

“I’ve just been thrown out of Dexter Industries after serving the VP there.”

“There’s a story behind this,” I thought.

Anyway, when he’s not writing books that get made into movies, he’s what’s known as a Civil Process Server. 

Bill’s principal job is to deliver or “serve” legal documents to a witness, defendant or other person involved in a legal action, mostly divorces and car accidents, according to Bill. 

Process Servers are to the legal system what mail carriers are to the postal service.

Getting angry at a process server is a lot like telling off your mail carrier for delivering your electric bill.  

Some people go to great lengths to avoid Bill, others are mean and rude, as if he were the cause of their divorce or personally requiring them to appear in court. 

Threats of physical violence are not uncommon.

Once a man sternly informed Bill, “I’m standing my ground!” As if Bill were a one-man SWAT-Team.

Maybe you’ve been served, stood by awkwardly while someone you know has or, you’ve seen it on TV. 

The stories emerging from serving divorce papers, summons and other “you’re in trouble” missives are pretty good.  

And since he's a a writer... you can see how this works out well for Bill.

I should note, that while Bill is not physically imposing, intellectually he’s the most dangerous human being I’ve ever met.  

Here's the story:

Bill had papers to serve the president and vice president of a company we’ll call Dexter Industries. 

Interesting thing here...

the president and vice president at Dexter Ind. also happen to be brothers. 

Yep, that’s right, brothers.

In the lobby, Bill asks for the president first. 

The receptionist replies, "He's out of town."


Bill asks to speak with the vice president (a.k.a. the other brother).

The receptionist calls him.

The vice president strutted into the reception area as if Hail to the Chief were being played.

Immediately and with some disdain he snatches the paper out of Bill’s hand with an air of: “I’m the boss (today) you're an underling here to do my bidding."

When a legal document arrives in the designated recipient’s hand, the recipient has legally been “served.”  

At that moment, the “process” of the server is complete.

After opening the document and realizing he’s “been served,” the vice president, somewhat childishly, tried to give it back. 

Imagine a kid trying to shove a lump of coal back up the chimney.

Of course Bill couldn’t accept it. 

Unable to reverse the process, as it were, the vice president turns into "Karen" and starts throwing fit and hissing at the person closest to him.

In this case, Bill. 

He hissed,

“You tricked me!” 

An accusation to which Bill calmly replied, 

“I can see how your brother ended up in the top spot.” 

The secretary who’d been watching the vice-presidential drama unfold, burped an audible, “Oh, Sh#t.”

Bill departed hastily.

He’s really good at that, too. 

Sometimes people in power don't know how to handle it.

It's a learnable skill, yet most of our education teaches us how to be workers not leaders.

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P.S. I asked Bill of I could “steal” his story and he told me I could. But don't be surprised if you see it on Netflix one of these days.


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