It was after dinner on an early winter evening when the phone rang, in fact it was October 10th but it had already snowed and the temperature outside was around minus ten, typical eastern Canadian fall weather.
“Hello, can I help you?” I said expecting telemarketers.
“Hi, my name is Walter Raleigh and I was given your name by Jim Crosby” said the voice.
“Aha!” I thought,” It’s Jim’s revenge”.
“What can I do for you?” I said, thinking, “If this is Walter Raleigh, I’m Queen Elizabeth the first. It’s Jim’s revenge”
“Yes, my name is Walter Raleigh, I work for Last, Ferry International, we are an international management recruiting company and we have a position that may interest you”
“And where did you meet Jim?” I asked politely, thinking, “It’s Jim’s revenge”
“Well to be truthful, I met Jim in a bar in Hong Kong, he strongly recommended you for this position”.
Definitely Jim’s revenge
“And where is the job located? Delaware, yes, in the United States, yes I know it, small eastern state about halfway up.”
Should I tell him now that he’s been rumbled? I know Jim’s behind this, it has his marks all over it. He does seem like a pleasant fellow though and maybe Jim told him some story and he’s believed it.
“Can you give me some idea of the Company and the work involved? Oil company involvement, Terrestrial Photovoltaics, breakthrough thin film technology”
The lunatics have taken control of the asylum, it has to be Jim’s revenge.
Two years earlier I had been approached by a genuine head hunter, he had an interesting job at a semiconductor manufacturing company involving the setting up of an offshore assembly operation, work I had done in the past and fitted my qualifications. The job was in Mauritius, a smallish island in the Indian Ocean. At the time many semiconductor companies were chasing lower wage rates for their labour intensive operations and I had worked sequentially in Hong Kong, South Korea, the Philippines and Penang. Malaysia, I was gainfully employed in Canada and did not want another long spell away from my family. I declined. Regrets all around. “But the company involved is growing rapidly” I was assured, “There were opportunities for personal growth and generous rewards for success.”
Alas, it’s not for me……”Could you suggest anyone who might be interested?” Well, I knew Jim was working in Manilla and was not too happy about the long-term stability of his present employer, we had worked well together in the past in Canada and Mexico despite the fact he was a Scot. Names and numbers were offered.
“No guarantee, he will be interested, of course, yes, thank you, bye”
Jim called about two months later
“You evil bastard, you set me up for the drop here”
“On my mothers grave I thought it was OK, what happened”
“I took that job in Mauritius, I knew something was wrong when I arrived at the plant and the local car hire company were picking up all their rentals because the bills had not been paid, two weeks later they couldn’t make payroll, there was a riot in the street outside, the only way I got out of there was because I had a return ticket, and I’ve met your mum and I know she’s still alive so don’t give me any more of that crap”
“I didn’t know Jim, really I didn’t, it sounded all right to me, I just didn’t want to spend more time away, I only gave them your name, no guarantees, I said”
“I’ll get you back, you evil Welsh worm, you wait, someday when your guard is down”
“Yes, yes, Jim and you have a nice day too”
Well my guard was certainly not down that October evening.
Walter was very happy to talk about the job, would I at least visit and meet the people, next week was OK, Tuesday then, be there by noon and back to Ottawa same day.
The job and the company were real, well financed, interesting technology. Long and short of it was that we moved to Delaware, those thirty short years ago.
I got a call last week from Lynne, Jim’s wife.
“Jim died last week, he did not know what was happening at the end, the alzheimer’s got so bad that he did not know me or any of the family, it was an awful relief, I think even for him, he’s all better now”
Jim never did take his revenge.
Unless,…….it was sending me to the US?