Posted by: Brad Nixon | October 15, 2010

Did They Get You?

The word is out: more aerospace layoffs in southern California. More bad news in a decade of bad news. When any of us hear it, wherever we are, we wonder if someone we know is one of the “in scope” people, as the saying goes. For me, my concern was Steve Douglas and Ward Cleaver. The problem is, I wasn’t certain even what companies they worked for, since I have only a casual acquaintance with them, and it’s one of those things it’s hard to ask of people you don’t know that well.

Sure enough, stopped at the light at Aviation and El Segundo yesterday, there they were: Ward in the Fury to my right and right behind him, Steve in his ’62 Chevy.

I waved. They waved back. Ward cranked down the driver-side window.

“How’s it going?” he asked me.

“Great, Ward, how about with you?”

“Just fine, thanks, uh, really, you guys okay over there, everyone busy?”

It hit me. Ward was wondering the same thing about me! He knew I worked somewhere here in the aerospace corridor, and figured I might be “in scope.”

“Oh yeah, we wish the economy would turn around, but we’re hanging in.”

What I really wanted to say was something like, “Well, Ward, right now we’re all employed but you know how it is and there’s just no telling when some CFO will wake up after a night at Executive Bible Class and decide to imitate Solomon and cut a baby in half to solve some budget problem having not understood that the point of the story is that Solomon didn’t really DIVIDE the baby, he was just creating an allegorical construct in which two parties in a dispute could be brought to a reasonable resolution!”

But I didn’t.

The cross traffic cleared, and Ward waved and made the right turn on red.

Steve pulled up right beside me.

“How’s it going?” he asked me.

“Great, Steve, how about with you?”

“Just fine, thanks, uh, really, you guys okay over there, everyone busy?”

And so it goes.

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