Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?

May 06, 2006 - 9:24 a.m.

20 years in the can [shielded enclosure]

I met a guy this week that made me realize how long I've been in this bidness. Dave was VP of Engineering when I worked at that computer company (that made incredibly adequate computers.) This was back when I lived on the other side of the lake; in the Twin (Ha!) Cities. Nowhere were two cities more different. Benton Harbor was a gutted ex-factory town, with a lot of empty storefronts. St. Joseph was a formerly sleepy resort town getting a little big for it's britches. Whirlpool Corporate was still in Benton Harlem but in a magnificent outcropping facing the lake. All them white collar folks took Lake Shore Drive south to Shoreham and Stevensville and even Bridgman. Benton Harbor? No way. I gotta send my kids to school.
I'd been there at the IAC computer biz for about twelve years, my first job out of school. Dave breezed in from Naperville and commuted home on weekends. He started there at the beginning of the end. Gateway and Dell came along about then and taught us all about building to order and razor thin margins. Incredibly adequate computers weren't gonna hack it; not without a lot of hacking personnel. When we talked this week, Dave likened to a "house of cards"; I thought of it more as a weed that leaned for the sun, grew too quickly, and fell over under it's own weight. In retrospect, Dave thinks like an independent contractor, not bound to any employer. For him it was an opportunity to make some cash, ride it out and keep his house in Naperville. That was 1993.
I got my walking papers there that year. Two really nice men in dark suits with white beards like Santa Claus chatted with all of us exiles in the big conference room, across a big table. The room faced the lush greenery of an open courtyard, that filtered light was the only source in the room. It lend a calming influence to just getting whacked from a place where I'd spent twelve years. They were hired to polish our resumes and kick us out of the nest. It was an intense three days but I worked it for all it was worth. They booted us out and I got 6 months severance at full pay with insurance. Plus I got a summer vacation.
Best thing that ever happened to me.
It was good to see Dave again. He makes a thing that court stenographers use. It has a color LCD screen, sign of the times, I guess. He comes in about once a year, no more than he has to legally. We cost money. He's the same old Dave though, a lot of fun to be around. We had a lot of laughs there as the ship sank.
Golly... you never forget your first firing.

the last one -*- the next one

Current Terr Alert Level
Terror Alert Level
OMG, She's agonna blow!

blah blah:

about me