Jay: Thank you. (Applause.) Tonight our guest is a Los Angeles lawyer, who’s going through a mid-life crisis. Poor baby. (Laughter.) Please welcome Publius! (Applause. Publius shakes Jay’s hand, and sits down.)
J: You’re a lawyer here in Los Angeles. Let’s see here (checks his notes), you were the high school valedictorian, Phi Beta Kappa in college, and in the top 10% of your law school class. You’ve been a lawyer for 20 years now. I don’t see the problem here.
Publius: I’m not satisfied anymore. I’m looking for a change. Freedom. (Silence.)
J: (Frowns.) What does that mean? Can you be more specific?
P: Not right now. I’m still figuring things out.
J: (Smirks.) Let’s get this straight. You have a prestigious job. You drive a late-model BMW convertible. You live in Santa Monica. You make at least $200K. And that’s in an off year. Do you know how many people would love to trade places with you? But you’re thinking about quitting your day job anyway. You don’t even know what you might do next.
J: Maybe you’re not so smart after all. (Laughter.)
P: What isn’t smart is continuing to do work that you don’t like anymore.
J: Listen, most people don’t like their work. But guess what. They have to do it. They have to keep a roof over their heads, and food on their tables. (Applause.) What makes you think you’re so special.
P: Each of us is special. I just think I deserve something better. I don’t have all the answers right now, but I would enjoy finding those answers. Right now, because of work, I feel like I can’t even begin this process. Work is stressful and tiring.
J: This might be news to you, but work is stressful and tiring for most people.
P: I know. I used to be able to hack it, but I don’t accept that anymore. I’m not going to follow lemmings off the cliff. Jay, let me tell you, I’m concerned about my health too. I’ve been hospitalized twice in the last five years. I had heart problems. I don’t think that’s normal for a man in his early 40s. I view them as warning signs.
J: If you walk away from your gig, you could still fall off the cliff, and end up with nothing.
P: True. And I could stay at my job, fall off the cliff anyway, and end up with nothing. Job security is not what it used to be. The economy is in turmoil, and it may not be temporary. I think we need more ambitious people who are risk takers, as opposed to company men who lie low and play it safe. I’ve done it one way for my entire life so far, and I seem to have reached a dead end. Now I want to try things the other way.
J: You’re a strange bird, but I wish you luck. You’re really going to need it. (Laughter.) Before I let you go, what about your wife and kids?
P: Never married, no kids. That gives me the freedom to take a shot at greatness.
J: Not sure what you mean, but time will tell. Maybe we’ll see you next January for an update. (Applause. Commercials.)