Chapter Three: Mistake

Red Hair and Blue Eyes

That summer I began dating your assistant. He had gone to a reputable university but had been in the technology industry when it collapsed in late 2001 and early 2002. Late in the summer you gave him long term employment at my request. You were supportive of the relationship because you thought that if I married him I would, “live a happy life.”   

He had red hair and blue eyes. 

On Feelings     

You had an employee who wore rather short skirts. You liked her a lot. The cynical explanation for this is, of course, the skirts. Truthfully, she is quite intelligent and independent by nature. You value those qualities highly. She paid her own way through an expensive and reputable university. It made you happy that her summer income helped significantly. It’s likely that she is the only employee who you never threatened to fire. She ended up going to one of the most reputable medical schools in the world, but I am ahead of myself again.

One day, she drove to the satellite office to find me. She could barely breathe or stand up. I felt concerned until she broke into hysterical laughter. She explained that you had approached the topic of feelings in a casual conversation with a small group of team members, and specifically regarding personal relationships. As the story goes you explained that at first one is innocently “trying to (have fun). But if the (fun) continues for long enough then feelings arise.”

She explained the inflection in your voice while referring to feelings. She made it analogous to your referring to “green slime.”      

We laughed. 


You gave precious little warning. At best you told me six weeks prior to the closing. I don’t think that you actually sold you firm to the highest bidder. You defiantly sold it to the office manager. I knew it was a mistake. I felt it. I hoped you would back out at the closing, but you didn’t. I was sad to learn that you actually closed.

Later you explained to me that you felt that it was a mistake as well. You attributed this to money. Obviously, it wasn’t a financial mistake.

You loved your firm. It’s a bad idea to sell something that one loves.

The only piece of that firm that ever mattered was the one that you could not sell.   

Threat of Termination, Again

It is common for the sale of a company to be less than entirely smooth. Shortly after the sale you and the new owner stopped speaking. You had neglected to inform him that you were teaching me management. In fact, he called me and explained that he did not know if I could keep my job because I needed, “help” so frequently.

He explained that no one else needed that much help with renting apartments and he hoped that I could get my act together or else I would not, “have a job.” 

Internet Marketing Adjustment

In the year 2002, and with no regard to quality journalism, Craig’s List took over the world. The firm’s new owner did not immediately notice the world takeover and I did. I tried to inform him of it and he reminded me that I still needed to learn how to rent apartments without, “help.”

I began posting ads to the satellite office number. Shortly there after he commented on how the satellite office appeared to be out producing the main office. I told him why.