Monday 26 November 2007


I read a great thing in the newspaper yesterday. It was an interview with Michel Cane in which he was asked “what happened to the retirement you announced 12 years ago”. He replied “Of course, I’ve made 12 pictures and won an Oscar since then. That’s typical of me. I suppose what’s changed since I at least mentally retired is that I’m in a situation now where I’ll only do movies that I can’t turn down.

What a wonderful answer. People keep stumbling over me lurking around in the office, look surprised and blurt out “I thought you had retired”. I usually say something mad like “not yet sunshine”. If only I could explain my situation in such a pithy informative way without revealing the total cretin that I am.

He is right of course. I can now choose not to be bored to death in long tedious meetings. I can now wander into a meeting and if I don’t like the sound of it I can wander out again. Occasionally the meetings are very inspirational and then I stay and contribute (whether they like it or not!) I like to think that they benefit from the wisdom of my experience.

However, there is one meeting that they won’t let me in to and that is the monthly leadership meeting. They say that I am too intimidating and would stop the flow of communication. People would become more guarded and it simply wouldn’t work. I say bullshit! One day I will become non-compliant and crash the meeting and tell them a thing or two!

Some may say (and do) that I am hampering the process of handing the business over to the younger, smarter generation. I say deal with it. I earned the right to be weird. I worshipped at the alter of owing more money than a small African country, staying up all night in a blue funk thinking “this won’t work”, not having holidays or days off for years on end, answering the telephone in the middle of the night to support our claim of being a 24/7 service. Need I go on?

Oh I do love my life!


menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

What you should do is get yourself some audio spy equipment and do two things. 1) Hide a listening device under the conference room table so you can keep up to date with everything they say then you can drop little things into conversations here and there and watch the look on their faces as they try to work out how the hell you know stuff.

2) Also fit a speaker device under the table and speak very loudly when you have something to say and listen for them falling off their chairs in surprise!

Keep hanging around the office drivig them mad. It's your right of passage!

laurie said...

do you own the business? i'm not sure the newspaper would allow me to wander around and tell people what to do once i have quit.

though that day, sadly, is a LONG ways off... said...

Oh thank you my dear, dear MOB - at last a kindrid spirit! I am much maligned and misunderstood. said...

Yes, Laurie, my dearly beloved and I do, indeed, own the business. When we were younger "grown ups" kept asking what our "exit strategy" was. It seemed to be the thing to plan, so we did, but I have now come to the conclusion that the only way they are going to get me out of here is feet first.

In the meantime I am creating a learning environment. If our successors can deal with us, they can deal with anything - hence ensuring the successful continuation of the business. That's our exit strategy.

Anonymous said...

Why revist an old battleground, where you won the war.
Why not start another business, something that you would really like to do and totally unconnected with the business you retired from.
Or how about being a mentor - lots of need out there. Some of its paid too, or you could be a gem and do it for free for someone like the School for Social Entrepreneurs.

Anonymous said...

I love your sentence, "I earned the right to be wierd". Would you mind if I used that one day?!!

Best wishes, Crystal Jigsaw!

xx said...

Hi again Valleys Mam. Who would want me as a mentor? I am NOT a good role model and way, way too old. But thank you for the compliment of assuming that I'm actually sane and rational. said...

Crystal Jigsaw, please be my guest. Why one day? Why not this day?! And you are welcome to use my swear words too if you like!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I just adore your sense of irreverence & chutzpah. Go for it girl!

Love Lizzie x

Anonymous said...

I think you would be an ideal mentor - quirkiness -thats what inspires people.