Dear Rob

Dear Rob,

I’m going to pretend your job isn’t being Mayor of Toronto, so we’ll cut out all the politics from the get-go. I’m going to pretend you have a job in upper management at some private company for the sake of this letter. Okay? No politics, no right-left whatever. No snark.

I see that you skipped out on yet another very important meeting, one that’s your responsibility. And the reason this time was you had to go coach football, because the coach has to be at the game or the team doesn’t play.

Rob something is becoming clearer and clearer to me every time I hear about something like this. You are an Everyman in one aspect of your life – but you’re not a good ole boy, you’re not a folk hero, you’re not just one of the guys. You are not an Everyman that way.

But like millions of folks out there – you clearly don’t like your job. You might even hate it. And that is where I think you are Everyman.

Millions know how you feel –  the shuffling in at the last possible minute, cutting out early whenever you can, the frustration with your colleagues. A lot of people in this world don’t like their jobs.

They have to go to work anyway. Why? Because they don’t have another job lined up. Their options are limited. Until they line up something else, they’re essentially stuck. Terrible feeling.

Rob? You do have other options. You could work at your family company. That’s the most obvious one. The less obvious one?

Follow your passion. Turn your football foundation into a full-time thing for yourself, and those kids. Because honestly – that’s when you seem happiest. That’s when you work your hardest, I think. That’s when you seem at your best, most positively affected by something.That’s what it’s like to live your calling. Imagine feeling that way all the time? And people all over cheer you on about this initiative. They think it’s great. They think it’s great how much you care.

If you’re in politics because your Dad was – well, maybe it’s not for you. And we all want to please our parents, but you know? Ask any parent what they want for their kids and they’ll say, “I want them to be happy.” You’re in your forties, Rob. So am I. It’s time to be happy, and follow your dream.

Now I’m not saying write up a resignation letter today. But do some thinking. You’ve got a couple of years left in your contract. You’ve already got the – well, the foundation for a foundation. Maybe do some thinking on how to make that an even bigger reality.

And when your contract comes up? Don’t renew it. Don’t even throw your hat in. Concentrate on what would really make you happy. If it’s football and those kids – so be it.

Good luck.


31 Responses to “Dear Rob”

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  2. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the site is extremely good.

  3. As a citizen of Hamilton, I have long pitied my friends and neighbours in Toronto for three things; the Bluejays, the Argonaughts, (though they are doing better than our Tabbies), and your mayor…. In my mind, he is the proof of ‘The Peter Principle’……..For those of you who are younger that forty, google it and/or the book of this same name to understand my note…..It too is not political.

  4. Clever, and well done!

  5. It is nice to see an article about Rob Ford that lacks the snark that I cannot seem to keep out of my voice when speaking or writing about the man. Nicely stated, as always, Sue.

  6. Well put indeed. I’m posting this to the Facebook.

  7. I totally agree with your letter, but I also find it really sad. Sad that those of us that don’t want to see him as Mayor are hoping he steps aside because we can’t trust that voters will do the right thing. It seems pretty obvious to me that he is not right for this job, but I am honestly afraid of him being voted in again for another term.

  8. Doesn’t like Toronto, doesn’t like his job. I do believe you’ve hit the nail squarely on the head.

  9. David (Monkey Toast) Shore sent me this: Wow and thanks. This sums it up perfectly. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny he loves working with these kids and within the world of football. Let’s hope he reads this, takes a deep, nonpartisan breathe and makes the right decision for himself and for Toronto.

  10. Why not just email it directly to him instead of “hoping” he reads it

    • Because to email it directly only to have it ignored or worse, form letter responded to, is no fun. If he sees it serendipitously – awesome. If not – no harm no foul. 🙂

  11. Truth to tell, there are many politicians I hate more than Ford. But I enjoyed this article, Sue. Well done. Now maybe you can get him to expand public transit? Buses, subway lines north? That sort of thing?

  12. I am no fan of Rob Ford and his ways, but I think your premise is off. I’m quite sure he does like his job. I think it gives him purpose and the feeling he is making a real difference for Toronto and it’s residents. He also believes he’s good at it and that the majority of Torontonians support him and appreciate him. He wants another 4 year’s. I don’t for the life of me see that happening though.

    • Fair enough. Perhaps he does like his job. It doesn’t seem that way – he enjoys the gladhanding, the handing out magnets, being the Mayor with a capital M. Unfortunately, small m mayor is the bulk of the job and I don’t think he enjoys it. He doesn’t seem to.
      I think he enjoyed being councillor, and in true Peter Principle fashion, he’s been promoted by a percentage of the voters of Toronto into a job that takes more time, more energy and more ability than he has.
      I do think he loved being a councillor, I always thought he’d be a good small town mayor. But I do think he hates the actual job of being mayor of a city the size of Toronto- the workload, the accountability, the concessions, the being forced to work with others.
      He was a “lone wolf” on council. He can’t be that anymore. Spotlight is one thing, and a very small part of the job, actually doing the rest of it is another. And I think he hates it. Being “THE MAYOR!” – sure. Who wouldn’t love that?
      It’s just remarkable to me to see the difference in him when he talks about his football foundation, That’s clearly his passion.

  13. That was an amazing read, and I too really hope he gets a chance to read this and reflect on your thoughts!

  14. I So hope he reads this.

  15. this post is awesome.



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