As previously mentioned, Tink is a statuesque red-head with long, slender fingers and long, slender limbs. And the tendency to worry like a Yenta. If one had to use a credit card to borrow trouble, she’d be maxed out on a permanent basis. She is not conventionally beautiful, but is arresting – whereas someone like Catherine Zeta Jones gets kind of boring to look at, Tink has one of those faces that you could look at for forever and forever be discovering another way that it stops your heart. Catherine Zeta Jones is pretty much the same looking all the time.

Combined with the way she carries herself, Tink is formidable indeed. I’m pretty sure I was terrified of her when I first met her. That didn’t last very long, of course. Because in spite of the fact that she owns Armani suits and carries herself like royalty, she’s got a wicked sense of humor and very quickly start picking on me.

It was Tink that came up with the moniker of Eeyore for me. That and Hobbit (about which I am still bitter). Of course, she’s nearly six feet, so it isn’t exactly like she’s got a normal perspective on height.

Anyway, the teasing she gave me aside, she very quickly became quite human: Generous, paranoid, funny, and just as icked out by Slimey Pants as me. We moved offices quite early in my tenure at TxInc, from a somewhat central location in Roslyn to a not so central location near Tysons Corner. Initially, Dorey and Tink were sharing an office. I had a cube just out side of their door, and Greta was right behind me. We were the fab four, the Pink Posse, and the best looking women at TxInc. At the time, it seemed like we all had our sphere of responsibility and we all did a pretty damn good job of it. We had inside jokes and we knew about each-other’s personal lives. We went drinking together after work. Tink and Dorey socialized together on weekends. We were friends.

Okay, so I never did quite understand what Dorey did all day, but I have faith that she did it, it was important and she was good. Tink was responsible for making our product kick ass, and she did.

Then the General entered the picture and he promoted both Tink and Dorey to Directors of Important Stuff. Tink moved to the office next door to Dorey. In short order, the client management team was transferred to Tink’s portfolio.

And then the head of TxInc decided that he needed assistance in taking TxInc from a low multi-million dollar company into a high multi-million dollar company. He got himself the biggest ass general he could afford, a good old boy from Georgia. Tink could mimic the old fart down to the minutest mannerism. I hereby dub the old fart general Archie. Yes, after Archie Bunker. He couldn’t get away with blatant bigotry, but lord was it clear he thought broads were in business as desk decoration.

Once Archie was in place, things started changing. We already knew that the culture we enjoyed in our office (work hard, play hard) didn’t translate back to the mother ship at TxInc (where the rule was work hard, work harder you fat American). (The owner of TxInc was not American and seemed pretty sure everyone from his culture was superior in every way.)

(Side bar, I’m a big fan of foreigners, so my issue isn’t xenophobia. It’s that this guy was an ass.)

When Tink suggested to Greta and I that we were going to have to start behaving ourselves, Greta reacted. I didn’t give a shit. What started out as a conversation about not making a 15 minute breakfast run upon arriving at the office turned into Greta announcing that, if that was the kind of work environment we were working in then she was going to have to cut her personality off entirely and draw a line over which she would not cross. No more friendly banter from Greta, not if such things were frowned upon.

Of course, the real changes were more gradual than that. It started with the doors that began closing for impromptu meetings.

Tink started talking about how she was pretty sure Archie was planning on firing her. It kind of started with the General’s resignation/release. The dude they put in charge after the General left was a disaster – arrogant, bigoted, socially inept and a sexual harasser. Tink out and out said that he wasn’t qualified for the position and challenged Archie directly over the decision. Not terribly long after that – maybe three months, the client management team was taken away from Tink’s portfolio and given to Rooster, as if a maintenance team belonged with sales, but whatever.

Gone were our days of having sensible, short meetings. Now we got to listen to the sales people compete to out bullshit each-other. Now Rooster was promising us extensive sales training (as if the slippery suits in the office needed to multiply). I was not pleased. Tink was sure it was a sign of her impending doom.

On the day the decision was announced to the client management team, Rooster stood up in Tink’s office and asked me for my response. I told him I’d rather hold onto it for long enough to process properly. He insisted I talk about it. I opened my mouth and had gotten about five words out when Rooster went to the whiteboard. He drew three circles. He informed us that each circle held a maturity level that we could react to change with. One was adolescent, one was child and the other was the fully adult. He hoped we’d chose to react within the adult sphere.

Bastard. It still pisses me off. Don’t ask me what I think, hear me tell you I’d rather hold it for a while, encourage me more and then berate me for what I think.

(Anyone else have an office mate who talks to herself in order to get you to ask what is going on, but you never ask?)

Well, we were now part of the Sales team, and Rooster did his best to mentor us and protect us, but he was pretty much useless, at least to me. Tink continued to direct operations and fret over numbers from sales that just didn’t add up to us operating in the black. The pressure kept building for Tink and she got progressively more certain that she was next on the chopping block.
In the spring, she got sent to an international client for three weeks. It wasn’t too long after she returned that Archie showed up in her office to let her know that they just couldn’t afford to sustain her position any further. I wasn’t in the office – indeed, I’d been avoiding the office as much as possible. I had a good excuse; I was with the client and we were working against a deadline.

Tink called me so I wouldn’t hear it from someone else. All she said was that she and Archie had come to a mutual agreement and she wouldn’t be in on Monday, or indeed ever again. Imagine my surprise when I went in on Monday and everyone was told that Tink – the consummate career woman – had gone home to be with her husband. “Well, we all know she missed her husband and spoke about it often.? Of course she missed her husband. That doesn’t mean she’d walk out on a Friday afternoon and just decide not to return.

I’d been thinking about leaving for a while anyway. I may have already spoken to some contractors I knew working at my client’s location, just to see if they had something available. I’d interviewed with another big ass company back in February but had decided against them, based on their rather draconian hiring procedures. They had mandated everything but a strip search for incoming employees. Well, it was the draconian thing, but it was also loyalty to Tink – I liked working with her, even if she did abuse me and call me a Hobbit.

I thinking having Rooster lie directly to my face did it. I was furious. I was told that I could either get with the program or leave the organization. I decided I was out of there on the first viable job offer. And that’s kind of what happened. I interviewed with a couple more big ass companies, got two job offers, one close to home and one that was a long commute away. I took the close-to-home one. And here I am with BAC.

The story of my resignation will have to wait for another day.


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