Corporate Panty-Melting Lore
So I get an email yesterday from a dear friend of mine with my old employer in Corpus, letting me know that she's had enough and has turned in her resignation. Like me, she's the principal-to-sole support for her family; unlike me, she doesn't have anything else lined up.
Before I started there, the company had a president I'll call Svengali, who ended up getting fired for not being the CEO's niece. He stopped in one day when I was still fairly new; he was a little guy, and hairy all over. He said hello and shook my hand, but I had no particular impression of him.
Svengali was the one who originally hired "my" consultant, "Lance." Lance was the one who got fired a few months before I left, the one about whom and me there were those rumors; but really we were fairly good friends even though he was a salesman. He and his wife are now in business on their own and doing quite well.
It occurred to me when I got the email from my friend that Lance knows a lot of people in the business and might be able to pull some strings for her. Sure enough, he responded immediately to my email saying that not only does he know a lot of people, but he's still good buddies with Svengali, who knows everyone.
Ah, the mystique of Svengali!
My friend Magda told me that, small and unassuming and hairy as he was, Svengali could really turn on the charm. He had supposedly seduced one of our major clients, and it was due to his firing that the relationship with that client had never gone right again. Which is rather ironic, because it was largely because of (preexisting) bad issues with that same client that Lance ended up getting fired and I fell so completely out of Imperial favor that I had no option but to quit.
But Svengali, said Magda, had - perhaps literally - charmed the pants off the CEO - who is a married woman, whose husband also works high-up in the company; so that could possibly go a ways towards explaining his firing, if not his taste - eeewwww! And he could do it to anyone. "You might think you won't like him," she told me confidentially. "You might put up your guard. But if he turns on the charm, the panties will melt right off you."
Oooh la la!
Well, I never met him again; however, I got a huge kick out of telling new employees about the strange and awful powers of the former president. I hope to be personally responsible for creating a full-blown urban legend. I sometimes told the story in person, but our entire office was on MSN Messenger, which is a better medium as you don't have to keep a straight face.
"No really," I IM'd our new front office person, "the minute you meet him, it's amazing! Your panties just melt right off!"
There was a long period of no response. She seemed to be typing a response and erasing it several times.
"I have never met such a man," she finally wrote.
Well, the practical upshot of all this (assuming that there is one) is that I wrote my friend back this morning and cautioned her. "Lance is anxious to help you out," I said, "but Svengali may be involved, so be sure to wear industrial-strength panties."
Words to live by, people. Words to live by.