Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thanks Barack Obama, for reconnecting me with my colleauges

I've posted before that I worked with Barack Obama at one time (I think it was the first job out of college for both of us). So I've followed with interest his rising political career. I read his first book, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance with interest. He devoted a few pages to his time at Business International, and after I read those pages I thought that his memory of the place where we worked differed from mine.

Fast forward to last month, and I read this New York Times article. The author interviewed some former coworkers of mine, including Dan who writes this blog, Analyze This. I guess the reporter found him, due to this posting, where Dan takes issue with Obama's memory of our former workplace. Well, the New York Times article had some very funny quotes. That the old office was like "high school with ashtrays" (an accurate description), and a great story about one of our managers who realized he wiped butter off his mouth with his tie because he was unaccustomed to wearing one. I emailed Lou and he said the NYT author had interviewed him for an hour and that was the one quote that she took from him.

A few of my former coworkers saw the article, as I did, and commented on Dan's blog. So now we're reconnecting via email. I also created a new Linkedin group, Business International Alumni. There are 11 of us so far!

So if you worked for Business International, feel free to join the group. If you worked for Business International in the 80's (before the Economist bought the company), and you worked in the Finance group in the New York office, you'll likely remember pub crawls (perhaps you had a Flaming Chartreuse at Harglos?), Wang word processing terminals, the coffee wagon, the Poodle with a Mohawk poster. You remember how to spell Dag Hammarskjold, and the quirky cast of characters who worked there. It was a great first job for me. Not as memorable, it seems, for Barack.

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