Linda: "Ok, I can't see your nametag. There, Lloyd, is it? C'mon in. Take a seat anywhere. Ok. I think that's the last of you. Let's get started. Uh, ok... sir, uh... yes, you... Vi-car, is it? We couldn't get the large nametags. Are you waiting for someone?"
Vikram: "It's Vikram, and no... I most certainly am not waiting for someone, thank you very much."
Jamie: "Relax Vikram. Don't be a jerk. Seriously."
Linda: "Ok, let's take our seats. We have a lot to cover. My name is Linda. Some of you know me already. I'm a specialist in corporate communications, as well as investor and legislative relations. I have managed to keep the U.S. Auto Industry afloat for more than a dozen years with careful subsidy management, tax relief, bailouts and favorable legislation. You could say that I turn corporate frowns, upside down, really. Ok, Lloyd... since you were late, maybe it would be better if you focused your energy on paying attention instead of laughing with your neighbor, yes? Ok. So... moving on. I'm here because... somebody has a little problem with their public image and with Washington... isn't that right everyone? Yes, well. Who here is facing bankruptcy? C'mon, hands up now. Don't be shy. Ok, Brady? Eyes front please. Ok. Thanks. Several of you I see, yes. So. Who has the sympathy of their congressional district? I see, no one... no one? Let's talk about working the angles here. John, how large is your labor union?"
John: "Uh, my... labor union?"
Linda: "Right. Which local is going to bear the brunt of the unemployment if you shut down your plant?"
John: "Uh... I don't... we don't have a local."
Linda: "Right, right ok, but which union are you dealing with."
Lloyd: "Linda, we don't have any organized labor in banking."
Linda: "Ok so who are you doing your collective... wait... no union? Ok... so how did you manage to get all that bailout money?"
Lloyd: "Well, a buddy of mine had the checkbook."
Linda: "Political patronage, ok, that's good, we can work with that. So, how many states will be impacted by your shutdown? Which state will lose the most jobs?"
Lloyd, John, John, Vikram, Jamie: "New York."
Marcel, Brady: "Zurich."
Linda: "Ah yes. In Montana. Well, that's a problem. Not a lot of representation in Montana. People pretty much ignore the state you know, you don't produce much except sugar beets, skiing and not that very well. Well, that's not true, there is the dairy industry, right?"
Brady: "Excuse me. Zurich... Switzerland...."
Linda: "Like, in Europe?"
Marcel: "Like in Europe."
Linda: "Ok, so I think maybe you are in the wrong room. So, you know this is managing Corporate Communications In A Financial Crisis, right? Why don't you go ahead there and check your schedule and see if you are in the right place. Ok, so... New York, that's good. And how underfunded is your pension plan, Lloyd?"
Lloyd: "Linda, we moved away from defined benefit plans years ago."
Linda: "No... underfunded pension plan?"
Lloyd: "No, Linda, we've managed to pay all our employees very well, and populate their individual retirement needs exceptionally."
Linda: "Ok, what about current pay?"
Lloyd: "Well, we are all sacrificing millions of dollars worth of bonuses here."
Linda: "I see. Well, that's difficult. Your employees will have to do without millions of dollars in bonus money. Money they counted on for..."
John: "Uh, Linda, Lloyd meant us. Personally. We've given up our bonuses."
Linda: "Oh. I see. Well, aren't there any other failing industries that your failure will kill off? Maybe industries that also have underfunded pensions? Industries that employ hundreds of thousands of people? Something that will pull some heart strings? Something that will keep people from voting for their elected representative if something isn't done? Uh... Lloyd? We aren't done yet. Lloyd? John, sit down, we have an hour and forty five minutes to go. Hey, people, we aren't done here. Hey!"