Vortex of Doom Communications became a vortex back in 2007, at least 18 months prior to its eventual acquisition by a slightly-less-doomed company - possibly much earlier. One thing about riding a vortex is that you get to circle the drain many times before finally leaving the sink. It was far from a death spiral in mid-2007, but those first few long, slow arcs around the drain had begun.
My better-than-I-probably-deserved boss had thrown a couple of large raises and several spot-bonuses my way, but those days appeared to be at an end. She still couldn't stomach the thought of either replacing me or doing her job without me, and I wasn't particularly fond of the prospect of either replacing this job or doing it for some other boss. So, we had pledged our loyalty to each other. If she left, she had to take me with her and I would stick it out until she was ready to leave. As things at her VP level got unbearable, I would talk her in off "the ledge," and she would do the same for me when my job was made impossible by company actions beyond our control.
Day Minus-575 - Friday, May 4, 2007
bosslady: yes, it is.
joe: yikes. hey - did we ever figure out how i'm gonna invoice that stuff that doesn't exist in the system yet?
bosslady: yes, but i don't want to do anything to the system until "we" figure out how the fuck we're pricing our product.
bosslady: marketing and product management should have a pricing model done by
joe: i will not kill you now. how about you FMN!
bosslady: no i will NOT fire you now. or ever. you're stuck here until the bitter end.
joe: when is that? have you heard something?
bosslady: not soon enough.
joe: now now...
joe: ((hide under desk))
bosslady: do NOT "now now" your boss when she's on the ledge!
joe: i know it's beautiful outside, but that doesn't mean the ledge is any kind of place to be. it's covered in all manner of bird poop and whatnot. just stay inside.
bosslady: i'm okay with bird poop. i deal with shit all day.
joe: dammit. i walked right into that one.
joe: ok. well, stay off the ledge because i'm asking nicely and saying please.
bosslady: not gonna throw me another softball?
bosslady: it IS very poopy out here!
joe: WAIT!! step back off the poopy ledge. i have a reason for you.
bosslady: please share.
joe: 3 words - Spring Shoe Sales.
bosslady: i'm in a meeting that was scheduled for 12-1. it is now 2:15. kmn.
bosslady: and speaking of shoes - i bought a fab new pair on monday. i think i'll wear them to my new job...
joe: nooooooo... here will be just fine.
joe: you might end up where fabulous shoes of awesomeness are totally unappreciated.
bosslady: that's ok. i will appreciate their awesomeness.
joe: hey - that's only 50% of the purpose for which fab shoes are designed. the shoes will be sad if they're only appreciated by the wearer.
bosslady: damn. that's a good one. i hadn't thought of that.
joe: yeah - you don't want your shoes to be sad, do you?
bosslady: ok - i am impressed with your awareness of my mental state and that of my shoes.
joe: thank you. are you off the ledge, yet?
bosslady: that would be a yes if i had jumped, you know.
joe: now listen you!
bosslady: fine. we're done here anyway. on my way back to my office...
Day Minus-545ish - Week of June 4, 2007
joe: if this hold music is my "bonus," i think i'll pass.
bosslady: chill out i'm dialing in now, smartass.
joe: are all your meetings and conference calls as depressing as this one?
bosslady: yes. not to mention boring.
joe: super. ok then. see you on the ledge tomorrow. i'll bring the rum and tequila.
joe: maybe a lime or two. health be damned.
bosslady: you're not allowed to die - just like you're not allowed to quit.
joe: if the stuff of the past 8 months didn't kill me, the lung surgery didn't kill me, driving here on Vicodin every morning hasn't killed me and this place hasn't killed me...
bosslady: are you still on that stuff?
joe: [whistle innocently, look around]
joe: there's still some pain at night. so, yeah. some mornings, i float here on a cloud of hydrocodone and broken dreams.
bosslady: it's cool. you do what you gotta do. just be careful.
joe: aye - i am. but you know what?
joe: i have you to thank for my love of tequila (and [Maris]'s, for that matter). i never touched the stuff until you gave me that Patron Silver (see -- i even stop to do caps!) last christmas.
bosslady: um, sorry?
joe: no, no - it's awesome stuff, and we are forever in your debt for the introductory bottle. just sayin'. when this place goes kablooey, we'll be left with Patron taste and a Cuervo budget! :)
bosslady: ah yes. hadn't thought of that. now for your off the ledge talk...
joe: oh whatever, boss.
bosslady: don't make me come over there!
bosslady: seriously. don't. i don't like it over there, now. i feel like whenever i come to your desk, all the engineers shut up and listen to our conversations.
joe: can't hear you. out on the ledge...
bosslady: no ledge! let's see here... you like your boss...
joe: well, "like" is a little strong.
bosslady: you have a great commute...
bosslady: there's free sodas and cup-o-noodles...
joe: wow is that weak.
bosslady: you get to put the top down when you do your bank runs...
bosslady: you get to listen to fascinating engineer debates outside your cube all day...
joe: okay, if i come in off the damn ledge, will you stop?
joe: thank you.
bosslady: HA! i'm queen of the ledge talk!!
joe: that you are, ma'am. that you are, indeed.