John Thain and I found ourselves having a difficult day Wednesday when we were both unceremoniously let go by Merrill Lynch. Or as they say in the UK, we're "Re-doone-dint." I'm not sure how the ax fell for John. For me, it came as a brief meeting with a supervisor who couldn't have been nicer. Indeed she seemed uncomfortable and unpracticed in the art of the execution. They planned to call me before I came in, but forgot that I had a early training session. So there I was, and they had to let me go in person. Of course I knew what was happening almost immediately . The supervisor began a preamble that took a bit long so I just interjected, "So I take it that I'm to be laid off then?" Freed from her spiel she seemed relieved. I told her that I knew this was coming and that while I liked working for Merrill I understood that like the Kulaks, most of us were for the chop sooner or later. When there is nothing to be done, I find it helps to put people at their ease, even if it is you who are to take the long drop.
I suspect that John got a message on his blackberry, and arrangements were made as to his personal effects, I mean possessions. He probably had a few more knick knacks than I did. I didn't even need a box. My small shoulder bag was big enough for my kit, which consisted of:
1. A small pencil case holding pens, coffee, band aids, a small multi-tool, a spoon etc.
2. My matching faux Persian rug mouse pad and matching coaster.
3. An American flag squezzy ball
4. A post card of a mouse wearing a crash helmet examining a mouse trap.
As I said, I bet John as a bit more than this in his office.
John, you're more than welcome to give me a call, as I have many tips on how to deal with this kind of situation. But first, I have some bad news. As a major stock holder you are ineligible to collect unemployment insurance. What a bummer.