When I worked...hmm, that's not right. I work today. Let's say, when I worked for, well, you know, money, there was a CFO/planning auditor who used to drive us crazy.
I was part of a project filled with some really bright, dissastified, and wonderfully snarky people. We created websites, IVR's, and software packages (Oh, I didn't do the actual programming, I mostly said yes/no to blue vs red, sprinkled in some text, and handled the user manuals).
Anyway, we project people had much in common: We didn't take ourselves too seriously, we were each pretty sure we were smarter than the guy sitting to our right or left, and we all planned to leave the company; someday, soon, as soon as we could ignore the next bonus check.
Meanwhile, we turned our drab little conference room into the poor man's Algonguin Round Table. We started with a cast of twenty-five. Three of us auditioned for Dorothy Parker, that was my main concern.
This auditor was one of the guys floating around until retirement, sent our way by the CFO to play with some legos until the time had come. He never missed a meeting, asked questions apropos to nothing in the modern world, and took copious notes.
One day he stopped showing up. Turned out Steve had liver cancer. We felt bad for him. Not really bad, just guilty because we had needled him, sad that eternity was up in his face -- just bad in passing.
And then we received a directive. Steve was to receive all meeting notes and screen prints, fed-ex'd to his house. And we were supposed to review his notes and suggestions in our weekly meetings.
About a month or two later, this back-and-forth was no longer necessary. Steve had died. In his bed, with our screen prints and his final suggestions.
Steve was a company man. It was time to quit.
And the roundtable? We learned time was time. I think within a year, we all quit too.