Wednesday, April 4, 2012

So Long Angels

It all began a few months ago. Jonathan and I are talking on the balcony of his new condo looking at the ocean. Jonathan says, "You know, once I'm gone, Steve's gonna want to get rid of you."

I say, "Yeah, I know."

"You do?"

"Sure, he can't handle being around anyone smarter than him. Isn't that what you told me?"

"Yeah and he can't even conceive of someone being able to think the way you do."

"OK. Steve's gonna want to get rid of me. So..."

"So, knowing that, you gotta promise to see this through."


"Because he might get annoying, but he'll come around. You're the only one in the company who can do what I can do and he's smart enough to see that he'll be shooting himself in the foot."

"Uh, huh. Sounds like fun", I say with more than a hint of sarcasm in my voice. "He's gonna fire me."

"No, he won't. You'll see."

"He will. Not only that, but he won't do it himself. He'll make Rich do it."

"Come on, man. Steve's got more integrity than that. If he does fire you, he'll look you in the eye and tell you himself."

"Betcha he won't."

"It's a bet."

Yesterday I was able to fulfill my promise to Jonathan and, by the way, win the bet. I'm glad about the latter because if there were anyone who could collect on a bet posthumously it would be Jonathan.

Last Thursday morning I get a call from Rich, my boss. After a lengthy preamble he tells me that due to the financial situation the company is conducting a layoff. After a few questions I find out that it's a layoff of just one person, me. Since we've completed all the exploratory work that requires more advanced skills the company is going focus on maintenance of the existing product.

I ask, "Rich, are you telling me that I'm too highly skilled and experienced?"

Rich replies, "Uh... Well yeah, I guess so. I'm really, really sorry about this."

I say, "No worries, man. We're good. You're actually letting me off the hook."

I hang up the phone and walk up stairs. I say to Iris, "Hey, baby, Rich just called. He fired me."

Iris says, "Cool! Now we can get on to other stuff."

Yesterday morning at about 4:00, I drove to New Jersey for exit meetings. I took the software team through everything I'd been working on so that they'd be up to speed. I had some really warm and wonderful conversations. I drove back home. It was great day.

Steve was out of town.

The night before my exit meetings, I thought about all the wonderful people I got to know while working with Jonathan and his gang. A melody popped into my head, so I recorded it. I call my little song, "So Long Angels."

So Long Angels

Happy Wednesday,

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