Sunday, April 03, 2005

Not your cookie-cutter Veep

I've worked more places than either I or my resume can or care to keep track of. Over the years have met some very fascinating corporate creatures. Veeps are in a league of their own. Rick was a Veep too but he was a whole genus and species apart from his ilk. I happened to read about him recently. He looks gorgeous as always - some men past forty look devastatingly handsome. Some lucky company has him for their CEO. Congratulations, Rick !

He had a different slant on everything. While another Fortune 100 company may have started a whole Six Sigma project to control operational inefficiencies and indulged in myopic bathwaterism, Rick chose a road less traveled - humor. Unfortunately for him he was over the housekeeping budgets and the numbers were looking crazy enough for a Veep's attention. Toilet rolls were being exhausted at an alarming rate in the little boy's room. I'm sure in the little girl's too but it was not mentioned in Rick's side splitting missive to #All Employees.

It was titled "Your Guide to Efficient Coverage" and explained in a few succinct bullet points how toilet paper could be used to wipe bottoms that ranged from small to extra large. He threw in his wit and wisdom on runs, constipation and everything in between and how that related to using TP to get the most bang for the buck.

We could not stop laughing about it for days. The numbers retrogressed to green again and no heads rolled. I am sure that Rick did a lot more than keep track of per capita use of TP but his style was pronouncedly unique. Back in the day I inhabited the trenches cutting code so my visibility to Rick's world was very limited. I wish I had seen and learnt more from him.

One morning three of us girls were standing by the window discussing the outrageous estimates from the local auto-body shop for fixing a little dent on my front bumper. It was an eyesore I would love to fix but not for $400. Rick was walking by and stopped to say hello to us. "Hey, I don't what you girls are talking about. But if you have a problem I have the answer for you ". I told him. He said "Get a bumper sticker"

Rick was flirty and girls loved talking to him even when they had no business with him. Cathy my best buddy at the time asked "Rick, would it be okay for her to wear a Sari to work ? We've been thinking of doing this national dress thing for casual Friday"

Rick thought about it for a minute "If it shows navel, I'm not complaining and I'm sure none of the other boys are. Ladies, I gotta run now." Turning to me he said "You can wear a sari any time you like, just not Friday"

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