December 25, 2006
Overreaction II: The Investigation!
we left our hero, Wickman, external marketing/communications liaison for
The Company, he had been hauled before the Corporate Crisis Response
Team because an industry trade publication had published a story about
The Company that forgot a decimal point and gave the month of May too
much credit for punctuality. Today, Wickman makes his defense before the
26 company luminaries who can’t possibly be expected to run their
departments at a time like this.
Wickman,” said the esteemed Chairman, “this story says we sold our
unprofitable division for $15 million. You know very well that we sold
it for $15.5 million. What do you have to say for yourself?”
shuffled some papers. Football picks, actually, but it seemed like paper
shuffling could only help at a time like this.
began . . .
address the chair as Mr. Chairman,” Steve, I mean Mr. Chairman, intoned.
be a little challenging considering that you burped ‘The Star Spangled
Banner’ for me at lunch two days ago, Mr. Chairman, but I will give it
my best,” Wickman said. “Esteemed members of the committee, and the rest
of you, please examine Exhibit A. This is the press release I provided
to the Monthly Monitor of Corporate Affairs. You will clearly note that
I indicated our sale price of the unprofitable division at $15.5
Chairman moved his glasses to the end of his nose. For no reason.
your point, Mr. Wickman?”
is that I gave them the correct information. So it wasn’t my fault. Can
I go now?”
Legal Affairs bolted up in his chair.
Wickman,” Bruce from Legal Affairs said, “the purpose of the press
release is to get them to report accurate information. Did they report
Bruce, they didn’t. Oh wait. I don’t suppose I’m supposed to call you
Bruce, even though you spent three hours on Monday playing sponge ball
in my office. Then again, that day I mainly called you B-Will.”
me as Counselor, if you don’t mind,” said Bruce from Legal Affairs, the
Counselor otherwise known as B-Will.
Counselor, no they didn’t report the information quite accurately, but
why is that my fault?”
it’s your job to make sure they do. That will be noted in our report.”
Wickman thought. Some lamewad journalist’s disinterest in
post-decimal-point data is getting him written up. What could be worse?
Then again, if the chairman asked for comments from all 26 committee
members, that would be worse.
“I will now
entertain comments from the committee members,” said Steve, oh, sorry,
the Chairman. “Mr. Alabaster may start, and we’ll go around the table.”
shuffled some papers. Also football picks.
Chairman, members of the committee, honored guests, esteemed
colleagues,” began the Alabaster filibuster. At this, Chairman Steve
interrupted his esteemed colleague.
like to ask committee members to limit their comments to 30 minutes
each,” he said with a hand gesture that sort of resembled tossing pizza
dough. Proceed, Mr. Alabaster.”
Alabaster could say a word, Wickman’s friend Schotzsky burst into the
never believe it!” Schotzsky shouted. “The Company’s stock is up 18
percent because the Monitor story hit the wires! The boss is on Neil
Cavuto right now!”
only one thing for Steve the Chairman to say.
committee members ran for the lunch room. Wickman and Schotzsky looked
at each other.
the Corporate Crisis Response Team will declare their investigation a
success,” Wickman said. “They’ll get all the credit and I’ll get none.
What do you do at a time like this?”
spoke with confidence and purpose: “Sponge ball in your office?”
thought long and hard about that. “Two out of three.”
America is saved yet again.
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