There is a huge difference between being cultivated, nice and pleasant people, and being geniuses. Very often, a genius is not even nice at all. He wears sunglasses in a magazine interview and you just forgive him because being in his company for 10 minutes actually repays you for all the time you waste on a daily basis coping with idiots.
I’ve always had some talent to spot geniuses – but yes, I did say him because I’ve only met two male geniuses in my life so far: one is the publisher of my second book Alberto Castelvecchi, and the other is the guy down here. Maybe it’s a coincidence that both of them are Italian, or maybe Leonardo Da Vinci is still in the air.
I don’t know.
Anyway, this guy here, Federico Palmaroli, founded a Facebook page that reached half a million likes with the highest engagement rate ever. Le più belle frasi di Osho is extremely popular in Rome and in most regions of Italy, to the point you hear the people talking about it in the street.
What Federico does on Facebook it dusting off old pictures of late Indian guru Rajneesh Osho and subtitling them with funny stuff in Roman dialect; this stuff just cannot be translated, but it makes you laugh until you die – and it’s not just that kind of ha-ha laughing – it’s something more, it’s something that also makes you think and could potentially make you cry.
In a word, it’s genius.
However, this article is not about the stuff he does; it’s more about the stuff he doesn’t do.
I had the idea for an interview when I got to know that, apart from the Facebook business, he is just a regular employee at the Italian Chamber of Commerce.
That killed me.
I’d figured him out doing some kind of creative work in his life, and not just being buried in paperwork into a public office.
The succinctness, the acumen and the mastery of the language he shows in his Facebook thing are second to none, and you can perfectly see him doing anything would make people laugh and think, from penning bestsellers to writing theatrical plays.
So, I really want to know how you would survive a regular job where your employer doesn’t even let you manage the chamber’s social channels because of bureaucracy, where your professionalism might not be as appreciated as it should be and when every and each line you drop on Facebook and elsewhere is damn
Please Note: No, I’m not in love with this man. Well. Not yet.
Waiter: hey guys, what do you drink?
Me: a cappuccino
Federico: a tea
You want a tea? So British from you.
Well, I don’t drink coffee. Sorry… hey, can I have some lemon, please?
So very British from you.
So, ask me your questions.
I know you are a key accountant in a public office. Why?
Because this is my job.
Why is this your job? Why aren’t you on stage? Why don’t you write scripts for comic movies? What the fuck?
Well, you know… life happens, you just take steps into your career that you think are right… I do like my job, but this Facebook page thing has probably saved my life.
Come on, Federico. How can someone like you survive in an office all day long?
Maybe it’s because of my double personality. I’m a Gemini.
I am sorry for trying to convince you that your day job doesn’t fit you. But I know it doesn’t.
Are you trying to sell me your career services?
This could be an idea. But the question is: how can you do stuff like real estate negotiation when you have a sharp mind like that? What did you study at uni?
Law?! Are you taking the piss?
Well, it was the 90s when I went to Uni. There were not Communications Degrees yet.
I have a Communications Degree and it’s useless. Why did you study Law?
You know, it was kind of easy and most of the people in my high school picked it, so it’s just what I did.
Are you happy?
I am fine.
There is no way to extrapolate anything else from him.
So, as I give up, I also give you my best nugget of wisdom ever: don’t stay in a job that you can do only because you can.
Federico, go out there and get at least a decent job as a Social Media Manager.
The rest of you – whether you are geniuses or not – I just wanna you to think seriously about this, because too much talent is being spoiled around.
Because it’s your life.
Just consider that the cleverer you are, the more they’ll want you to perform any job just because you can.