Friday, January 14, 2005
  For whom the bell tolls
Today is the last day of what's left of my current (soon to be former) employer. Tomorrow we will find out our fate-- UPS will deliver either a job offer with the merged company, or a termination package. I asked/am hoping for a termination, but I won't know for sure until tomorrow.

We went to lunch at the Chevy's down the street. The restaurant was packed with co-workers, many dressed in black and wearing buttons of our acquirer with a red slash through their name (I happen to have one of those exact buttons from my days at another competitor-- different space in enterprise software, though). Lots of margaritas and tequila shots were slammed, and the old-timers cried. A reporter from the San Jose Mercury News worked the room for quotes from drunken employees.

On the way back to the office, we stopped at the shrine that has cropped up and grown today-- balloons, marketing materials, customer and employee giveaways, logo hats, etc. are piled up by a sign at our back entrance. Reporters are camping out there now (one asked if we are working today. Ummmm....), and news vans are parked around our campus. This has been a day like no other in my working life.

My things are packed and in the car. My badge, network access and phone will likely be cut off this evening. The past 18 months have been a wild ride, and professionally I am a better person for having been here. This story will likely be studied in business schools for years to come, and in several years the results of this mess will be in. My money is on failure, but you never know. Whatever happens, I will always look back at my time here with gratitude and great memories. The friendships will last a lifetime.

Now it's time to move on. I'm not looking forward to pounding the pavement yet again. Ugh!

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