Monday, April 18, 2011


Richard was in town with his boyfriend Patrick, and we went to Westville for brunch. I commented on Richard's militaristic coat, and then I photographed him, as the military look is hot, hot, hot right now. I know Richard from Lehman Brothers, and, during my time there, the other assistants and I were always curious as to how Richard remained employed. Richard said during brunch that it was his perfectionism that made the higher-ups hate him, but I seem to recall that it was his penchant for taking off every single religious holiday on the calendar (and there are many). But who am I to grouse about someone's work ethic at Lehman Brothers? When I was there, I was cultivating a serious drug habit, and took a great many days off myself (once without any notification at all, which was shocking - SHOCKING - to Human Resources). I was also cultivating a serious inclination toward bluntly sexual office banter - once I told Ali Behbahani that my PIBs (public information books) were as "sweet as honey," while winking lewdly at him. That was really gross. And when Ted Kalem touched a fax machine near me once and said "That's hot!" I replied, sweetly, "Thank you." He gave me a dirty look. At our group head Gary's clam bake at his Westchester pool house, sitting across from Ali, wearing swim trunks, I literally exposed myself to him, and he turned pale. But what could they do? My boss was their supervisor, and he was a scary person. Once, I called him to give my two weeks' notice, and he intimidated me into staying! He literally refused to let me quit. These days, of course, I am old and tired, and being a sassy secretary doesn't hold the same thrill for me. I'm not even an assistant any more - although I was one for years after I left Lehman Brothers. Looking back, I really am sorry that I refused to do your expense report that time, Nik Puri! I'm sorry that I was so loud in the office, Marilyn and Armita. I hope you are still in touch with "Mr. Frank." Wherever he is, I am sure he is closing in on the bottom line as surely as if he contained a homing device within him. And I'm really sorry to you, Ali, for "taking it out." Richard, I'm glad we stay in touch, even though there isn't even a Lehman Brothers anymore. Most of all, for reasons that may be obvious to everyone, I'm sorry I never met Dick Fuld.

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