"You wanted to see me?"
"Yes, Brad. Come in. I'm afraid I have some bad news."
"What do you mean?"
"You see, the market seems to be flirting with a bit of volatility right now, and?"
"You're telling me! I actually lost money on my lunch hour yesterday. Can you believe it? That's the last time I trade stocks and fantasy league players at the same time. You really gotta pay attention these days."
"Yes, well, we believe that it's all just a correction, but the board is a little skittish right now, so they've agreed to a merger to prop things up."
"Their slogan is, 'No One Knows What We Make, Except Money.'"
"Exactly. And their CEO ? I mean, our new CEO ? feels that we need to assume a similarly strategic position."
"Great idea. That's why I upgraded my Palm Pilot."
"Yes, well, the bottom line is, our corporate mission has been redefined, our personnel base is being downsized, and your specific job description has been outsourced."
"What do you mean?"
"Don't take it personally."
"But I've only been here six months! I just got out of college."
"I know. And in this economy, most companies just can't afford $65,000 for a 21-year-old who majored in progressive Web design and golf."
"I also minored in feng shui."
"Brad, the world is finally getting back to reality. You're too young to realize this, but the last few years have been a fantasy. Dot-coms with no hope of turning a profit making their executives rich, people with no capital or expertise calling themselves investors. It was a giant Ponzi scheme. It had to end sometime."
"Does this mean I have to return the Mercedes?"
"I'm afraid so. And the health club needs their towels back."
"Well, I guess I'll just have to post my résumé on the Internet again and get a few more dozen seductive offers."
"Brad, those days are over too. That's why we'd like you to meet our vice president for recently hired outplacement, Mr. Jiggs McCoy. Jiggs, say hello to Brad Westfield."
"At ease, son. First thing is, I know just how you feel. It wasn't that many years ago I got the word they were closing down the whole carbon-paper division. Well, goodbye, pension. So what do you do when you're not here?"
"All right, there's a start. Unfortunately, they make all those sets overseas now. Say, here's an idea. Ever thought about moving to Mexico?"
Copyright 2001 Newrite, Inc. All rights reserved. GLW's on WGN Radio AM 720 and wgnradio.com. Coming soon: newsjunkie.net.