Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Have you ever heard someone talk about the next shoe falling? My grandmother used to describe the phrase as lying in bed at night, hearing a shoe drop on the floor in the apartment overhead, and waiting and waiting and waiting for the second shoe to hit the floor.

That works well as an example of anticipation or anxiety. That is, unless you live under . . . .

a centipede.

Working for my company has been like living under that heavily-shod centipede. Last year our stock tanked, well in advance of the general financial collapse. No, it wasn't a harbinger of the collapse. It was, however, a harbinger of what was to happen to my company. Our stock hit $.19. That's right, nineteen cents. We were delisted from NYSE.

Delisting triggered a call on our debt. We were told we had to pay off the interest and the principle by mid April. Something around a billion, more or less.

Then came our Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in February. We thought we had a white knight all lined up to buy the company. The white knight led us to believe he (it?) would keep the company in tact. White knight vanished along with the white rabbit, down a hole and into darkness.

Enter several companies to pick over my company's still-warm, still-twitching carcass. One company offered to buy the arms. Another wants the legs. Still others want units in Europe and Asia. And all at fire-sale prices.

On Tuesday we were told that the company will be broken up -- if the bankruptcy court approves and the companies don't disappear like the white knight did -- and that those of us in corporate IT will be out on the streets.

Now, I'm all for walking the streets, but this is the kick in the pants I need. No more worrying about the centipede and his multiple shoes. More like multiple kicks from said centipede to get me focused on writing, free-lancing, and pursuing that elusive agent for my books. Seriously pursuing the agent gig. That's opportunity kicking me.

Stay tuned. I may still be in the corporate fold until the deals close, or I may be out by Friday -- but I'm not going to look for another corporate gig. Three strikes and I'm out!