Tonight I broke away from the office early to have dinner with a former boss of mine. Well, she's not just an old boss, she's also a friend. We worked together for a few years at The Worst Company in the Whole Wide World, Inc. (a division of AT&T). Together we endured 14 VPs in 7 years, which means our bosses had an average corporate lifespan of 6 months. When you consider that it takes 6 months to fire someone, our former bosses must have been put on Performance Improvement Plans the day they joined the organization. I suspect they were told to introduce themselves to their new staff, get settled, and then head over to HR for a "little chat."
I'm happy to say that since we were there things have settled down a bit and our old colleagues are now celebrating that as of last week they're officially working for The Worst Company in the Whole Wide World, Inc. (a division of IBM).
We're both curious to see what IBM does with the place. Let it remain autonomous? Assimilate it? Do exactly what AT&T did? (Use it as a storage facility for people at HQ that they can't fire but don't want to have hanging around the place messing things up.) Okay...I'm kidding. Maybe.
Anyway, we had a great time catching up on industry news, talking about what our old colleauges are doing, and wondering where the Devil now works. The Devil was our nemesis. If you ever met The Devil, you'd say, "Hey, I'll be darned! She really IS The Devil! Whoever would have thought The Devil works in Columbus, Ohio?!"
Once, Alex and I were at the airport. I was knitting feverishly when I looked up and there she was. The Devil! She was clicking along the hallway in her Devil shoes, intent on getting to her gate quickly to get on her Devil airplane.
I looked up and whispered to Alex, "That's The Devil."
"Hmmm...she doesn't look like The Devil," he told me.
"Oh, I know...but she's The Devil, all right."
He said, "She's got a good figure for The Devil." Well, of course she has. It's part of the Devil lure. If The Devil looked like The Devil, everyone would say, "Stay away! That's The Devil!"
I remember the moment I learned that The Devil was forced to "make more time for her family" which we all know is a euphemism for "has decided to pursue other interests." I was having lunch with two guys from our ad agency. One guy had pledged allegiance to The Devil while the other had chosen The Path of Righteousness. Guess which guy turned a whiter shade of pale because he knew he'd soon be tripping the light fandango himself?
My friend and I didn't think Her Satanic Majesty would stay in Columbus because The Devil should be in a far bigger and more important city. Like Tuktoyuktuk. Or Trois Rivieres. Or Washington. But, no. She remains here in Central Ohio. Just goes to show that you never really know what motivates the Heart of Darkness.
For a couple of hours we talked about our good times at The Worst Company in the Whole Wide World, Inc. (a division of IBM), what our old friends are doing now, how much weight we plan to lose one of these days, what are kids are doing that we have to pretend we think is terrific, and how we'll be able to retire in 30 years if our retirement savings keep accruing at the same rate they've done in the past 30 years.
We agreed we'd have to see each other more often...and buy stretchier pants.
On my way home I heard an interesting commercial on the radio. "Americans need to get out of debt. It's important for the health of our country. If you have more than $10,000 in credit card debt, we can help you reduce it in half. Call us now. You must have more than $10,000 in credit card debt to qualify."
Well, when I heard that I got so excited I almost drove off the road and into the sign that says the construction zone -- that isn't there -- has been brought to us by TARP. (I think all the TARP money was used to make TARP signs. But I digress into macro-economics when this is clearly a blog posting about micro-economics.)
Just think about that radio message...if you owe $10,000 in credit card debt, some guys out there are going to cut it in half for you. For nothing. No strings attached. That's fantastic!!!
First thing tomorrow morning I'm going to call their 800 number to see if I can pre-qualify for this program. And if I do, I'm going out to rack up more than $10,000 in debt so I can pay back only 1/2 of it. That way, I'll be stimulating the heck out of the local economy AND I'll get a whole bunch of neat stuff I can't afford right now because I'm living within my means.
I tell you, this new Economics is the greatest thing since Anti-Gravity Underpants. Which, I might add, I'm going to invest in with the five grand FREE MONEY I'm getting on my credit card.