One man’s journey into and out of The Great Recession
Dan arrived at work on a beautiful, sunny, Friday in June 2009. He had flown back home on Thursday from a wonderful Florida vacation. He had decided to return to work on Friday so that he could copy several files that he would need to do some work at home the following week. The offices would be closed the next week due to the July 4 holiday and slow sales. Dan wondered how many employees would have cut their vacation short to do this and how many of the other employees would be doing any work the following week.
Dan had been at work about an hour when he was told by a human resources manager to report to the conference room for a meeting. He knew what was going to happen. The company had been hit very hard by the recession. Sales had been cut in half and there had already been four layoffs, the most recent occurring that Monday when he had been in Florida. Dan had been with the company for 16 years, but that was no defense against this recession. This was not about experience, or even past value, this was about cold, hard, cash.
The two HR managers explained in frigid, sterile, terms what was happening and why. Dan pretended to listen, but he really didn’t hear very much. He was afraid to hear those final words. “We must now remove your 'bolers'.” “Oh please don’t take my bolers”, Dan pleaded. “I have worked for 16 years to grow and develop my bolers. Look how large and shiny they are.” But the HR Reps were unmoved. They then proceeded to cut Dan’s bolers off. “By the way Dan, we are sending your bolers to headquarters in Chicago. I think they are going to be mounted on the executive conference room wall!” Dan was presented with a bag of severance and directed to the exit.
Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
drifting through the wind
wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
like a house of cards,
one blow from caving in?
So our hero Dan was thrown out of the land of Employment and into the land of Unemployment. This was a very disheartening thing. The official recession was ending, but millions of people had been cast out of Employment and more were arriving in Unemployment every day. And once you were cast out of Employment it was virtually impossible to get back in quickly. The walls of the city were made of granite and very high. You could see people running full speed into the granite wall trying to get back in. Others just pounded their fist or their head against the wall hoping it would help.
The only way to get back into Employment was to attract the attention of a “hiring nymph”. You then had to convince her that you were would a “good fit” worthy of receiving new bolers. If you were successful, you would get to mate with her and she would escort you back into the land of Employment. But there were very few hiring nymphs to be found. Many had gone to sleep due to the recession. There was great competition to attract the attention of the few nymphs looking for mates. There were almost seven residents of Unemployment for every hiring nymph. The nymphs could be very selective in choosing mates and some nymphs would not even look at you if you had no bolers.
But Dan could not even try get back into the land of Employment for a while. He was suffering intense physical and emotional pain due to the loss of his bolers. He spent some days just staring at where his bolers had been and wishing they were still there. He often thought back to when he had his bolers and how painful it was to have them chopped off.
Dan felt incomplete without his bolers. He just didn’t feel right, he didn’t look right and he didn’t walk right. He initially avoided going out into public because he thought people were staring at his lack of bolers. He lost his self-confidence and sometimes doubted his ability to ever obtain new bolers again. The strange thing was that in reality Dan was the very same person with the same skills and abilities, but he didn’t have his bolers and that left a huge void in his life.
Do you ever feel already buried deep?
6 feet under screams but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there's still a chance for you
'Cause there's a spark in you
After a while Dan healed enough to go to the wall and begin trying to attract the attention of the hiring nymphs. He would yell out, “Do you have any bolers for me today?” But the effect of the recession raged on. There were no nymphs. No matter how loud or how creative you pleaded, there were no nymphs. Day after day Dan and the other people in the land of Unemployment would cry out, but there would be nothing but silence. Dan became very despondent, but he could not quit. He did not want to become like the head bangers. So he pressed on despite the utter futility of the mission.
This went on for months. Dan’s bag of severance was gone. He was tired, he was fearful; he wondered when he would ever have bolers again.
Maybe your reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it's time, you'll know
Then one day he attracted the attention of a hiring nymph. She liked what she saw and didn’t seem to care that Dan had been walking around without bolers for almost nine months. They talked, they winked, and they flirted.
Finally she said, “I want to mate with you.”
“What bolers do I get?” Dan asked.
The nymph then showed him his potential new bolers.
“They are not very big”, said Dan wearingly. “Can’t I have some larger ones please?”
“I’m afraid not, said the nymph. I know that residents of Unemployment are desperate to obtain any bolers at all, so this is all you get. Are you ready to mate?”
Dan reluctantly accepted the offer. As he approached the nymph to begin mating, she said “Great, now turn around and bend over.”
Somehow this was not the way Dan had imagined it would be. It was a classic “low-boler” offer. It is only very enjoyable for the nymph. So Dan complied and received their package and thus was granted access back into the land of Employment.
Dan did feel good to have new bolers. They obviously didn’t fit as well as his previous bolers, but they were bolers. Dan reasoned that if he worked really, really, hard, he might be able to grow these bolers to the size of his old ones, but it would take many years. So he swallowed his pride and went on with his life.
Dan had been re-bolerized for only eight months when suddenly another hiring nymph appeared. “I have been looking for someone special to mate with”, she cooed. “You have everything I am looking for and I wish to mate with you so badly.”
Dan was caught completely by surprise. He had vigorously pursued hiring nymphs while in the land of Unemployment for a long time without success. Now a nymph was pursuing him. She was very hot for him and she liked the fact that he already had bolers and really liked their shape.
But Dan was conflicted. His current nymph had mated with him when no other nymph would. She had given him his bolers back. She had made him feel somewhat whole again. How could he even think about mating with another nymph so soon?
He expressed his concerns to the new nymph.
“That’s nice”, she said. “But I really do want to mate with you. I think you can satisfy all my needs. Oh and by the way, here are your new bolers if you agree to mate with me.”
Dan’s mouth dropped open. The bolers were quite impressive. They were large and shiny. Upon closer inspection the bolers turned out to be even larger than the bolers he had originally lost. Dan had a big decision to make.
“Mate with me now!” The nymph pleaded.
“Wait, just a moment”, said Dan.
Dan had an ethical dilemma. Dan knew what he had to do. He had to consult the Book of Business Rules. Dan had lived his entire career by the book. He had consulted the book frequently and over his tenure had made some difficult decisions based on its direction. He was sure it would give him guidance now.
He hunted feverishly until he found the book. In the table of contents he found a chapter on Business Loyalty that he was sure would have the answer to his dilemma. His hands were shaking when he found the chapter and started thumbing through the pages. But to Dan’s dismay, he found that all the pages in that particular chapter had been erased. He could see where the print used to be, but in effect the pages were now blank. He knew that edits were made to the book from time to time, but he had never seen anything like this. He frantically went through the entire chapter page by page, searching for anything that might help him. But there was nothing left. He was angry at whoever had erased the pages, and then he noticed a hand written notation at the bottom of the last page. It said: “Final edit, December 2007”.
Dan recognized the date as the month the Great Recession began. He thought back to a conference room in June 2009. He remembered a cold, sterile, conversation and then he remembered having his bolers cut off after 16 years of loyal service. He concluded that it’s all about bolers man. He now knew what he had to do.
He ran to the new hiring nymph, ripped off her bodice and vigorously mated with her. After two days of continuous mating, Dan and the nymph achieved mutual orgasmic satisfaction. Now this is how Dan dreamt it would always be.
When Dan informed the other nymph what had happened, her father became furious that Dan had mated with another nymph so soon after mating with his daughter. Dan told him, that it wasn’t personal, but it was all about the bolers man. This explanation did not satisfy the dad. He came after Dan with a large pair of shears and threatened to cut off his new bolers.
Dan ran. He ran faster than he had ever run in his life. He ran so fast that suddenly his feet were not touching the ground. In fact he was no longer running but shooting up towards the sky. He then noticed that sparks were flying off his body.
“Holy Shadrach”, said Dan. “I’m on fiyar, but I’m not being burned.” Then he looked down and saw a pretty, young, woman wearing a bright, short, dress and he heard her singing:
'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Ah, ah, ah"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y
Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Ah, ah, ah"
You're gonna leave 'em all in awe, awe, awe
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon