30 April 2002

I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.
     - Theodore Roethke, The Waking

George Santayana entered the annals of philosophy when he coined the oft-repeated phrase, "Man is condemned to repeat what he cannot remember." Various and sundry sages have lifted the sentiment, and attributed it to everyone from Napoleon Bonaparte to Seneca, back through the ages. But it was Santayana who said it, and we would do well to remember it.

Memory weighs heavily upon me today. I am facing my history squarely in the eye, when all around me are willing to forget. In a different guise, at an earlier age, I worked in a company where everything that could possibly have gone wrong, did. I was caught in the maelstrom with all the unfortunate employees who were sucked into the abyss with the foundering ship, and it has taken me years to recover. I actually sat down and wrote the whole thing out, just so I would never be tempted to forget what happened at that company, and why. I had a rare insider's glimpse into the chaos and turmoil that can destroy a company, and I have never wanted to repeat the experience.

Today, I discovered that a new venture, a startup for which I held out great hope, has elected to forget the past, and welcome aboard a person who contributed actively -- through inactivity and shifting allegiances -- to the problems that spiraled the earlier company out of control and into oblivion. The people who made this decision and offered the top leadership position to this person did so without any input from me. I am sure they did not want input from me. What they want from me is a sort of blind allegiance to the new regime, headed by the anti-hero of other times. The person who they expect to guide them, to provide direction and vision, is a person I remember as being devoid of imagination, leadership skills, and even the most rudimentary personal ethics and principles.
I don't believe I'll be much longer attached to the organization, which is probably to the benefit of all concerned. I'm looking for gainful employment. What I'm after is meaningful work, a decent living wage, and nice people to work with. I didn't think this was too much to ask, but apparently, it was. 

The first slippery step to perdition has already been taken. I'd prefer to not fall the rest of the way to Hell with them.

Perhaps my opening quote should be something about how there's no teaching old dogs new tricks? 

Anybody out there need a hard-working writer who has a way with words (corporate and otherwise)? 

If so, use the link at the bottom of the page. I'm willing to relocate.

Excuse me. I just remembered -- I have to call a couple of headhunters.


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