Poignant Irrelevance

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Part 1

Due to certain circumstances (that I will not delve into), this was not unpredictable. I've seen plenty of unsuspecting people get sideswiped, and its really painful to watch. Really painful. If you've ever witnessed a mentor, a senior partner, or a peer crumble right before your eyes, you know what I'm talking about. And at times it can be like that new rollerblader on the lakefront path that has lost his balance; they know and everyone around them knows what is occurring but human nature has them waiving their arms and contorting their body in all sorts of unusual ways to save themselves... to no avail. This was a little different however.

The most tenured got the call first. We all looked at each other and essentially nodded our heads in silence. Yep we knew it, and here it was, for all of us.

Usually the first two stages involve denial and anger. We skipped right past those and moved into stage 3. In this stage, you study the fine print. Stage 4: You do the math based on the fine print. Stage 5: Pack up and get out of dodge.

Stage 6: You get on the phone and call everyone you know in the biz to see whats going on locally. This usually takes a couple of weeks, because you are going to need to follow-up on everything. If you're smart, you've already had your ears open, so you should already know about any major items of interest. You should have a few interviews under your belt already. You don't work a decade in this field without having a sixth sense for business trends. Its the smaller items that take more time and digging though.

When you've been doing something for a decade, some habits are hard to break. For weeks, I would roll over in bed in the wee hours of the night searching in the dark for my (now nonexistent) blackberry to check on any breaking news. As soon as I crawled out of bed every single morning (7-days/week), I would search around for my nonexistent wireless email device to see what was going on at the nonexistent office. Constant news feeds, trends, emails, minute-by-minute data points, to some these might be a nuisance. To someone like me these things are (were??) like breathing. When you're hooked in, you can draw conclusions and make bets about things that will happen in the future. You can draw conclusions based on small changes in mannerisms, a change in voice inflection, or slight changes in the answers to your carefully crafted questions. You can piece together your carefully researched feeds of publicly available data and conversations with your web of contacts, and make sound predictions about the future. When your predictions become reality, you get this burst of adrenaline that shoots through your body. Then you start all over again with new information, to piece together the next prediction. Its not even that you make 1 prediction and then start over, one tracks hundreds of data points constantly, and needs to track their movements all the time.

I digress, but the point is, in stage 7 you are going to experience withdrawals.


  • Crap!

    I will write something positive and encouraging later. Right now I am too pissed.

    By Blogger Marla, at 4:55 PM  

  • Screw positive and encouraging! (no offense Marla). This is the meat of life right here folks. The raw, real deal. You don't sugar coat it, you eat it up.

    I need seconds, thirds, and dessert. Yum.

    By Blogger Shawn, at 7:25 PM  

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