Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How Did We Come to This? Chapter 3: Greased Skids and Death

Greased Skids and Death

Administration of The All Things Deposited Division had been a close group of people. At the time Ross Rollins was nearing retirement, The Kid was still the junior member after 14 years.  Ross Rollins was vice president and division manager. He had five section managers reporting to him, Smokey Stover, Amy Tubman, Freda Fireplace, Teah Plucker and Dina Gass, who managed Wire Send and Bend. In the last couple years though, the Wire Send and Bend group had been suddenly moved out of All Things Deposited to Numbing Numbers Division.
It was starting.
Next came the splitting of the division into two smaller divisions and the pushing aside of Teah.  Not long after this, Freda Fireplace died. (She was only in her late fifties at the time, but was a heavy smoker and died of lung cancer.).  She was replaced by another long-term Unit Manager and chain smoking partner, Daisy Amuzapark.
Then Amy Tubman decided she needed to be free, free at last and retired. A thirty-something named Dudley Doeswhat replaced her. The others in administration were The Old Goat and Viney Thorn. Viney was something called Yak-yakings Coordinator and also The Old Goat’s assistant. The Old Goat had had another assistant named Madonna Honda for several years, who was a contracted agent, not an employee, but Madonna had left to pursue her second job as a Cleric.
You know what they say about whom you know.
It must have been something of the who-you-know magic, because The Old Goat was always mystified about guys like Dudley Doeswhat and now such people jumped over everyone else with such ease. The Old Goat didn’t dislike Dudley. Dudley at least was a worker, but The Old Goat never understood why he was chosen for better things rather than himself.  Dudley had graduated from university with a degree in Food Services. I mean, Food Services? He worked in the cafeteria at We Are Independent Trust, but then somehow landed a job working as a proof operator in the Spittin’ Out Data Division.  Next thing you knew, he’s moving here and there, much like Flip, magically moving steadily up, while The Old Goat was being kept where The Old Goat was. And now Dudley suddenly comes back to All Things Deposited as a Section Manager, two levels higher than The Old Goat. 
The Old Goat came to We Are Independent Trust as The Kid, age of thirty-nine. Fifteen years later at 54, was The Old Goat considered too old for glory?
Meanwhile, Penn Letterer finally does retire fully and reorganization occurs at the top. Cuddy Bear is named the new Chairman, and he will oversee the financial future of WAIT right into the ground a decade hence and be the voice out in the world. Hobart Wazza Goodguy is named President and will be in charge of internal operations.  Gil Ferret becomes Senior Manager of We Got Your Back and Wallet Division and another old buddy of Cuddy Bear’s, Gabe Guitar, is named Senior Manager over Numbing Numbers.
And finally Ross retires. It is expected that Smokey Stover will be named the new Vice-President of All Things Deposited by Jim Herring, the new Senior Manager of Info Machine Processing, the Department All Things Deposited Division was then in. Ross had been grooming Smoky as his successor for twenty years. Then came rumors that Jim Herring isn’t going to be the one to make that decision. It will be made higher up, which means by Cuddy Bear really. Cuddy’s selection for the new head of All Things Deposited is Flip Wineberry, who has just turned 33 years of age.
Not long after this Jim Herring also chooses to retire and Gil Ferret is also given responsibility for Info Machine Processing.
This seals Smokey Stover’s fate.  Everyone knows he will go no higher.
Now Smoky had “come out of the closet” in the past year and he and his wife went separate ways as he moved in with his lover. Did that have anything to do with his not getting the position he had long dreamed of? That is an unanswered question. It did answer some questions about Smoky and his wife. They had married out of high school and they had two children twenty years apart. Smoky always attended various bank social functions alone, never bringing his wife. The Old Goat met his wife eventually and she had a problem that led one believe it could have been a marriage of convenience.
 (Smoky himself died a few years later of cancer. He had been Freda Fireplace’s longtime puffing partner. He was about 55 when he died.)
As Smoky faded in his career, Dudley’s power was growing. He was actually starting to get assignments that normally would have gone to The Old Goat. Flip just didn’t seem to know what to do with The Old Goat it seemed.  Meanwhile, older Unit Managers in All Things Deposited began to disappear into early retirement. Their backups weren’t necessarily replacing them either for most were replaced by outsiders. In some cases their units disappeared with them. Some like Mulie Ragingbull, left in a cloud of bitterness, which included the disappearance of all her computer files.
The clear replacement for Mulie was a woman named Mello Yellow. Mello knew everything about the unit, was great at handling people and as nice a person you could meet. But Flip hired a young woman out of Numbing Numbers named Rapunzel. Rapunzel knew nothing about the Unit she now headed, absolutely nothing. She was the manager, but in reality Mello was running everything. Mello just didn’t get the salary or title. It was a mystery why Rapunzel was there. She was an accountant with a CPA for gosh sake. Why would she want a job managing this little paper shuffling Unit? Rapunzel did eventually leave the bank.
Next Viney Thorn had her 55 birthday and suddenly decided on early retirement, and she was gone and not replaced.
Then in January, Flip calls The Old Goat to his office and introduces him to Ernest Healthstriver, another young man on the fast track at the bank at that time.  Healthstriver had replaced Flip as head of Sales Uplifting and Ernest was in trouble. The Silly Pilly Program was being rolled out and it was the big buzz word at the bank, the number one priority, and Ernest was having his butt chewed off because he had no way of providing the data needed or of getting needed information out of the old referral system that was to be joined with the Silly Pilly Program. Flip had met with Cuddy Bear and Hobart Wazza Goodguy and they all said The Old Goat was the perfect fit to save Ernest from corporate death.
How was The Old Goat a perfect fit? The Old Goat knew nothing about Sales Uplifting issues or about the Silly Pilly Program. The Old Goat wasn’t a systems guy. The Old Goat had created a cost system in Excel, something of a feat actually, but they needed someone to create an Access Database and tap into a dBase System. The Old Goat had never heard of either.  But there was some comments that Flip made that told the The Old Goat he better take this job or The Old Goat might be leaving right behind Viney Thorn.
There was another little catch.  The Old Goat was only going to work for Ernest Healthstriver short-term, about 18 months, and then The Old Goat was going to be transferred to Numbing Numbers. Flip had worked out that deal with Yard Perimeter, the new Division Manager of Numbing Numbers.  (And The Old Goat had never wanted to end up in the Numbing Numbers area after The Old Goat began working for Ross.)
But off The Old Goat went.  Packed his desk contents and moved them to a new desk in a new office in the headquarters downtown. A much nicer office, actually, wood trimmed with windows overlooking the street and another big window overlooking the lobby. Still, The Old Goat lay in bed at night convinced they were “greasing the skids”, that The Old Goat was being set-up to fail and to be forced out the door.
But The Old Goat fooled them all.

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