Saturday, October 16


Yesterday at 8:00 a.m. the administration assistants on our executive floor threw a "Bosses' Day" breakfast in our enormous Board Room for the "bosses." I made the politically incorrect observation that to be perfectly correct, there is only one boss who isn't somebody else's "employee," and that's the new CEO, who wasn't there because he was vacationing at one of his resort homes. And even he has to answer to the Board of Directors and the shareholders, so he has multiple bosses himself. The rest of us bosses, while somebody works for us, also work for somebody else. My objective was to muddy the class distinction: we're all in this together, helping each other help someone else, with the end result being better teamwork making a better company. I always do this and it usually goes over big at these events because we have a historical culture at our company of valuing all our people assets.

Yesterday, though, being the day after the debate, there was a kind of holding-their-breath hush that I wasn't used to when I first started speaking and then a relieved chattering when I finished. It turns out the other execs were afraid I was going to deliver a political speech for Kerry! After all, it wasn't so long ago that every executive in the room except me and one other female executive (we're few and far between) left work early on a Friday to go home, don their tuxes and pick up their wives for a $2,000-per-plate dinner for Furious George. And they all know, from the Kerry button perpetually on my collar, the Kerry-Edwards bumper stickers on my car and on my office door, and the Dubya doll on the conference table in my office (he repeats 40 stupid quotes from Furious George at the touch of a button), a gift from my two Republican daughters last Christmas (they know what I like!) just what my political predelictions are. (As if they needed clues after eight years of my pro-Clinton lectures.) They were relieved, it turned out, because they couldn't defend Bush, and frankly, they didn't want to. Other than to agree that Bush did better in the last debate than in the others, they had nothing positive to say about him.

More and more I find that businesspeople who traditionally vote for Republicans are unhappy with Bush but adamantly refuse to support a Democrat. All I can hope is that that will translate into lower voter turnout. And as Martha says, "That's a good thing."


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