by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/01/06 08:21 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2010/01/06/9944611.aspx
This blog is about a fun story.
In fact, this story is one that every time I think about it, I laugh.
Even if it weren't a true story (which it is), I would still think it was fun, but the fact that it is a true story just makes it even more funner.
Perhaps even most funnest!
Anyway, it started back in the early part of the last decade, back when we were all just getting used to the fact that the year 2000 did not cause society to collapse.
I was over at a friend's house, hanging out with her and her husband. Actually he is a friend too, but I met her first. So mentally I just think of them that way. Given the fact that there is a bunch of music that he and I both like while she think its sucks (both suspect her reasons are mainly that we like it though haven't conclusively proven it yet), I suppose it could really go either way.
It doesn't matter though for the purposes of the story, and given that the previous paragraph is one of the biggest digressions ever in this Blog, I think we should move on now.
The story actually started just before I was over at their house, maybe the night before.
I was watching the movie True Colors, a movie that would have been much more interesting had it not been so extreme in its principal characters (John Cusack as the senator's aide who runs for congress in a sleazy way, and James Spader as the justice department agent who is John's friend and the one who runs the sting operation on him) were not so obviously evil and good, respectively.
Also, the role reversal in who was good and who was evil was also fun, since John Cusack seemed to be a good guy in every role even when he is contract killer, and James Spader had been doing so many bad guy roles that we almost forgot the bumbling, lovable genius who marries the girl and stays behind in the movie version of Stargate (this is something else we forget in our post-SG1 world, but I digress again).
Anyway, there was one interesting plot point in the story, one in which John Cusack (while with James Spader and his girlfriend Imogen Stubbs on New Years Eve), as the introduction to him claiming he wanted to be a congressman, was a resolution that he would be elected to congress within ten years, betting a case of the champagne they were drinking (against a bottle that they would each give him if he was not elected).
This movie was kind of in my head when I was over at their house and we were drinking, celebrating a promotion that she had just gotten.
I was teasing her a bit since she was always claiming that she was so close to leaving her program management job at Microsoft to become a barista and that she now clearly was moving up the ladder of success. She was a bit embarrassed about it and I felt a little bad putting him in the position of either agreeing with me or claiming his wife of many years wouldn't be successful but it was all in fun so the topic was a great piece of conversation.
Then, in a fit of mild drunken excitement, I (remembering the movie) picked up the bottle of champagne (well actually it was cava - Spanish style champagne - but close enough for our purposes), and claimed that she would be a Director within ten years, and that I would be willing to bet a case of this champagne that she would accomplish this goal.
Her husband nodded and admitted it was possible, and she just smirked and restated her prediction that she was sure to be a barista by that time, at best a lead barista. But she agreed to the bet, I assume because she was drunk and figured she'd win anyway.
Over the years following it would periodically come up as a recurring joke, mentioning the bet. Any time she did some job particularly well, or got promoted, or got recognized by someone important. You know, it was happening frequently enough that the joke was kind of fun....
Then in February of 2007 I thought I had been given a bit of a late Christmas present (always fun for someone who is M.O.T. like moi!) when a new organizational announcement listed her job title as "Director of International Planning and Strategy".
I immediately sent her mail congratulating her and asking her when I could get my champagne, of course!
She (being obviously a bit higher up in the org) had apparently been given some insight into all kinds of rules related to standard titles that were going to be applied to all of the people all across Windows, and said the bet hinged on her title being updated in the Global Address List. I wanted to call shenanigans on this "improvement" but was forced to admit that since the nature of the directorship had not been specified that the announcement lacked rigor as a bet winning move.
Imagine my disappointment when a few days later her title was "Principal Program Manager Lead".
Congratulations on the promotion and all dear, but not a "Director" in sight! :-(
She stuck to her guns about the need to see the change in the GAL for the bet to be won, and perhaps jokingly added a new alternate job aspiration of "beet farmer" to her barista aspiration.
But they say to never give up hope, and it is quite lucky for me that I never do, despite being such a cynical bastard that I will often point that the glass may indeed be half full -- but of poison!
Why should one never give up hope?
Well, in the end of October 2009, after our big re-org, an announcement mail about her new role in a new group was sent out, with a title of "DIRECTOR, STANDARDS MARKETING" (caps theirs, bold emphasis mine).
She told me later on when she had first gotten the offer letter she was incredibly excited and then about a half hour later she was thinking something else entirely: "Oh crap, I lost the bet."
The message to me via IM, perhaps just moments before the mail was sent out to the world was simple enough:
"you have officially won our bet"
And I instantly knew what she meant and was instantly insufferably pleased. :-)
I pointed out she probably got over it quickly enough, what with the new job she was so excited about and all. She admitted this, and promised to deliver to me the case of cava, forthwith (riding the cava home on my lap in the iBot was also fun, but in a minor way; the winning was the cool part).
This story is one she has shared with a few friends since then and they all loved it. As do I.
And despite the joking claim of friend Holly that "as memory serves me correctly cava is strictly for males, correct?", and my sorta girlfriend and I have managed to get lightly toasted with a bottle consumed jointly after earlier drinks. But then I suppose everyone is a rule breaker now and then!
Funny how things work out, isn't it? :-)
Ning on 23 Jan 2010 8:58 AM:
So, has she sent you the case of cava yet? She was talking about it last time we got together. :-)
Saw you on the iBOT the other day. Pretty cool!
Michael S. Kaplan on 23 Jan 2010 9:22 AM:
Indeed she did, and several bottles have been enjoyed. :-)
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