I was summoned to a conference room this afternoon. My boss sat across a table and said, “I have a script I’m supposed to follow.” “Ah,” thought I. “Here it comes.” And I got it, alright. But I didn’t get what I thought I was going to get. There’s a lot of administrative details that are too dull to mention but the gist of the meeting was that Benevolent Dictator, Inc. is asking me to stop job hunting and stay with the company. Big Bosswoman said she’s confident they’re done firing people—excuse me—reducing headcount. They want me to hang around for the rebuilding and they are offering me a retention bonus to not leave. It’s a pretty thick check, too. It’s payable after 90 days. They feel that after 90 days, the ship will have righted itself and they want to insure that I don’t head for zee hills in the interim.
I was a high school loser. Ask anyone who was there. I never had a girlfriend. Didn’t go to my prom. My grades were so bad that I couldn’t get into a university. I never took my SATs. There was no point. After all my friends disappeared into academia, I spent two years anesthetizing myself with as much weed as I could lay my hands on. I pumped gas. Tore movie tickets in half. Mowed lawns on the medians of strip malls. Made sandwiches at a deli. I got dumped a lot. My lost years. To go from that mess to being offered a retention bonus by an investment bank is an arc I never could have imagined. I am the poster child for late bloomers.