Friday, May 13, 2005

Fall of 2001

I’m working for an Investment Banking firm in Houston, Texas. Our airplane is approaching 20 years old and is need of upgrades plus our travel needs are changing. For several months I have been looking at the market trying to decide what would be the “perfect” airplane for our needs, something that would do 85% of our missions yet wouldn’t blow the aviation budget too bad. I had picked several, from small and slow to mid-sized and reasonably fast. I was ready for the call.

The first sign of trouble was when the call came; it was to meet with Nick at the River Oaks Country Club Men’s Grill. It was never a good sign to meet somewhere other than “downtown” (my guess is they believe if we were at ROCC that I wouldn’t go postal) but I was so sure we were meeting to talk about a new aircraft I ignored the warning signs. I put on my monkey suit, showed up on time, ate a really bad hamburger, showed my research on the used aircraft market and then set like pole axed mule as Nick told me they no longer needed my services, they were going with a “Quartershare”. I walked out of the Men’s Grill without a clue how I was going to survive. The Job market was as bad as it had been in more that 20 years, I had just turned 60, and the only airplanes I could fly were no longer being made and had not been in production for many years. It looked grim.

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