Friday, April 3, 2009
Later that morning Ed called me into his office and told me that I had to go on a special call. He said that I was to go and speak to Kenneth Wells, Vice President, Global Banking. Ed went on to tell me that he had spoken with him and that I was being considered for a new temporary position. I was very surprised and exceedingly nervous.
This was the first time I had ever met Mr. Wells. He was assertive, intimidating, and direct.
"It's good to finally meet you Smedley. I have it on good authority that you are quite the expert in Information Technology. I've got a proposition for you, lad."
He started our conversation by informing me that everything that we were to talk about was in confidence and off the record. He then told me that I could receive a very large bonus if I were to eliminate the computer records of a number of certain nefarious investment activities that had been practiced in the past three years. He said that it would be no small job and that I could use no more than two other trusted assistants on a team to do so. They would also be compensated through lesser bonuses.
For an instant my mind drifted off and I imagined myself spending thousands of dollars everyday. there were yachts, top of the line classified, high speed processors, the latest games and game systems from Tokyo, a Lakeside high rise condominium for my mother et cetera, et cetera. I then thought about Lisa, Shlomo, Margaret, and everyone else that was getting sacked and how their lives were going to change. Sure, some would go on to get better jobs later, but most will suffer; at least on the short term, if not for a long time to come.
At that thought I breathed in deeply. I mustered as much courage as I think I have in my whole being and gave him my response.