One for the road

This story is dedicated to Susannah from athingirl. She inspires me with her lively stories about her cadre of friends and their escapades!

Back before I retired, we had a downsizing at our company. As head of the human resources department, these were always painful for me. I don’t like to see anyone lose their jobs but sometimes you need to do that so the company can survive.

One of the employees downsized was a high-ranking administrative person. I always enjoyed her. It was a small company and it wasn’t welcoming to new employees. This person always made me feel welcome when I was new.

She reminded me of Cher when she did “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.”

She wore long peasant skirts that swooshed when she walked along with a Danskin scoop tee and sandals weather-permitting. She had the long dark hair to complete the picture.

Although we were the same age, she always made comments about my youth. I like that about a person!

She got me out of hot water when I accidentally broke a large statue in the board room so I sort of owed her.

As is custom for high-level employees, there was a package and a farewell sendoff in the form of a dinner party. If the person is well-liked, there is a roast (a kind one) that accompanies the accolades.

For this person we didn’t have enough “funny” stuff. We would not embarrass anyone or point out their oddities unless it was good-natured and funny.

That stuff happened at the bar after everyone had a few drinks! I always liked to get out early because as an HR professional I had an obligation to address anything I saw that wasn’t professional.

Yeah, I know it’s hard to think of me as a moral compass. So boring! I much prefer the role of agitator.

My even higher ranking boss asked me to find something interesting to say. I think his words were “Get some good dirt!”

During the course of the benefit package information discussion, we chatted about what she was going to do and of course, what she would miss.

Out of the blue (and believe me, I was so lucky because I never thought I would get anything THIS juicy!) she told me that before she left she wanted to have sex (with her hunky husband) on the desk of another high-ranking person who was also getting downsized.

It was a fun desecration of company property. I’m not sure why this guy was singled out. Perhaps they had some history.

No, not that kind of history! The guy was ancient! He should have retired years earlier.

I worked with my boss, who was the MC for the evening and we plumped up the story just enough to make it fun.

All was going well until that story came up. She jumped up and yelled at me. It seems I am the only one who heard the story so she knew where it came from. I couldn’t stop laughing and neither could anyone else.

She wasn’t really angry. After all, what did it matter, she was leaving and this would certainly add to her legacy.

Her hunky husband just smiled so I was never sure if they had done it….or not. I was not checking for cheek prints on the desk!


15 thoughts on “One for the road

  1. Great story! I’m glad your company added a little fun to an sad situation. It’s better than having the person who is downsized quietly slinking off into the night. And thanks for the video of Cher. I didn’t know that song. She does it well …of course.


    • That was the first downsizing and it was just 3 or 4 upper levels. Sadly a few months later we did one with a large group of “normal” employees. No dinner, no roast only tears.


  2. That’s a wonderful story. Sure would like to know for sure if something happened or not. Don’t suppose you could call her and follow up on this story, could you? Probably not.


    • I did talk to her once or twice over the years. She would call with a 401(k) question or something like that and we would talk for an hour. She took the downsizing as an opportunity to relocate to Florida and she loves it there.


    • If you knew me in person you would realize how hilarious that is. I am sure my first supervisor would turn in her grave if she realized the positions I have held. Like many others, I matured along the way.


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