We all know the degrees of separation phrase: 6 degrees of separation as described in Wikipedia as:
Six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929 and popularized by a 1990 play written by John Guare.
In the pharmaceutical clinical research industry where I have spent the past 19 years, I think we’re all 2 degrees from each other. The example below, if I’m counting correctly, is an example of a 4, maybe 5, degrees of separation. My friend, Bill Dupere recounted this story to me several months ago:
Two and half years ago Bill hired Heather Elser, PhD. She later started dating, and then got married to Jason Smith, DVD in February 2014. In late spring, Jason’s boss, Wally Diehl, retired from his veterinarian practice. Wally sold the practice to a veterinary “roll-up” practice management company, VCA and Jason took over day-to-management of the practice. Wally then turned around and contracted with VCA, Jason Smith, for part time veterinary services.
Wally moved to the coast, Surf City, NC where he has other business interests at the coast including, boat dock rentals and boat rentals.
Meanwhile, Bill suffered a heart attack and is unable to resume his responsibilities as COO with QOL Medical. Dr. Heather Elser, who used to report to Bill assumes day-today responsibilities for Clinical Operations at QOL Medical. Bill now supports Heather in these duties—in effect Bill now reports to Heather for certain projects.
Bill and his wife Elizabeth (Liz), own a waterfront townhome at the coast in Surf City, NC. Bill’s neighbor, Greg Isenhour, is a serial entrepreneur and serves as General Contractor for the townhome development in which Bill and Liz’s own a townhome. Greg is also into property management. One of the properties that Greg manages is the building where Liz works at Builder’s Mutual Insurance Company (BMIC). Greg also used to serve on the Board at BMIC.
So in effect, the Dupere’s live next door to the person who helped start Liz’s company, and who both serves as GC and property manager. Greg does a great job tending to and looking after the properties he is responsible for.
Greg is in also business with Wally (retired veterinarian, see above) who is a principal in Topsail Island Boat rentals. Greg leases Topsail Island Boat Rental boat slips in the Dupere’s townhome waterfront community, which is to the right side of their townhome complex and the boat storage facility is immediately adjacent on the left side of the townhome community.
One day, while Wally is walking down the dock, Bill and Liz are upstairs on the 4th floor of their townhome on the deck overlooking the sound.
Bill yells down: “Do you know Dr. Jason Smith?”
Wally stops dead in his tracks, chuckles, and says, “Do I know Jason Smith (in a rhetorical fashion and tone). Of course, he is now my boss.”
Bill chuckles and yells down a second time, “Do you know Dr. Heather Elser?” to which Wally answers, “…of course, why do you ask.”
Bill replies, “she is now my boss”