full circle in the hundred acre wood

The year was 1989.  One year before I sold my communications business. I was okay at hiring people, although the interviews always went far too long. But when it came to firing people, man, I was the worst.

There was a guy named David who worked for me. He had wavy blond hair, soft hands, the hands of a Baptist organist, and a bland expression that set off  alarm bells that I didn’t have time to pay proper attention to. The day I fired David for serial nonperformance, (after two sleepless nights of suffering over his fate), he responded to the news by looking straight at me for the very first time, his doughy smushed in nose prominent and a little aggressive, and said: “I don’t care. I have another job, starting tomorrow. I’m outta here.”

I was momentarily crushed. Until I went to his desk, and found the concealed cache of women’s lingerie ads from the newspaper. Not a big deal by today’s internet standards. Enough, then, to give me the creeps and wish I had never hired him to begin with.

Every Friday was “let’s get real” day. Payroll. The time when our little business had either collected a sufficient number of accounts receivable to pay our employees and our bills, or we borrowed more money to make good on the weekly obligation.

What an education.

Not sure why I’m thinking about those old days tonight. I think it has something to do with the cremation services I attended today for my internal editor.

Watch out!




0 thoughts on “Let’s Get Real

  1. Verna Wilder says:

    Cremation services for your internal editor – I love it! Now I’m curious, since I view the internal editor as the Undead: Can it still rise from the ashes? Or did you bury the ashes in the back garden?
    I’m enjoying your writing very much. Thanks!


  2. Gullible says:

    What??? You fried your left brain?!!! Wow, that’s the only thing that keeps me out of more trouble than I already cause. How brave. How daring. How utterly wonderful!!!


  3. What a great little story. Funny how such memories arise.
    Hey I have added Switched at Birth to my blogroll . . .


  4. Phil says:

    Even by the demure standards of the day, lingerie ads from the newspaper were far from titillating. You’re right – you should have fired him earlier!
    Now, the internal editor – I’m not familiar with employment law in FL, but it’s thrilling that you can now actually cremate, and not merely fire, an employee that displeases you!


  5. Gullible says:

    Why, I remember when leaving the lingerie pages in the Sears catalogue in the outhouse was risque.


  6. Leslie says:

    Ah, yes, the days of having employees, of paying their salaries and never having enough for your own. Seems like business owners everywhere had…are having…the same problems….I remember preparing to fire a staff member only to have him turn around, quit and start a rival company!


  7. Walk says:

    What! You’ve been holding back all this time! Wow, can’t wait to see what’s next.


  8. Gullible says:

    Dearly Beloved,
    We are gathered together today to put to rest the ashes of Beth’s infernal internal editor. Beth has lived with her infernal internal editor many years, and the parting was a difficult one. However, we are certain, as certain as the sun will rise and set each day, that Beth’s infernal internal editor goes to its just reward across the River Styx.
    We know not of the details she endured in the cataclysmic intervention that ousted her internal infernal editor, only that she contended and prevailed over paralyzing self-doubt and the evil of over-editing.
    We can only hope that this battle has freed Beth forever. There will be no headstone to mark where the ashes of the infernal internal lie, as no one wants to visit them.


  9. Beth says:

    Beth here. . . Problem is, Gully, now that my internal infernal editor is gone, so, apparently are my boundaries, my white picket fence of protection, and I have spent all evening crying over an incredible story that I don’t know if I can tell. It involves an old man and an ancient whitetail buck. Tentative title is Methuselahs In Our Midst. Well. I’m going to try and find the off button for a few hours and get some sleep. Thanks, guys, for your comments. Apparently there was a hot button in there somewhere.


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