FINCA - Building tomorrow together


Blog posts with the tag "rupert-scofiled"

First thing, Kim, you’ve got to promise not to be angry with me. I’m supposed to go on a family vacation tomorrow, and while I told them, no, absolutely not until after Saturday, my wife put her foot down and so I’m going to have to get on that plane tomorrow afternoon which means — sigh — I’m not going to be there for you on your Special Day.

Can I take my hands off my ears now? Have you stopped cursing me yet?

And speaking of family, Wow, talk about guilt tripping me. Here you throw the Jenners over the side to make room for me, Ellen and the rest of the Last Minute Celebs, and how do I repay you? I do the no-show dance. I hope, in time, you can forgive me.

But I sooooooo totally get it, and maybe one day the Jenners will, too. (And how about this for the next episode of “Keeping Up”? The Jenners sit around the house, sulking b/c they got disinvited. Slammin’, no?) And I actually hacked into your call with Ellen, using the technology the Other Rupert shared with me, which I will reproduce for my readers b/c I know they will sooooooo totally get it, too:

E: So, where’s my invite?
K: Uhhhhhhhhh. invite?
E: Don’t play dumb with me, Miss Fairytale Wedding-of-the-Century Bride. Listen: You are “Up” now, but one day you will be Soooooooo “Down”. And that’s when you will appreciate a “Where are they now?” shot on my show. Dig it?
K: Okay, Okay! You made the list, all right? (And after Ellen hung up, K muttered the “b” word)

Oh, Kim, and one other thing: What’s up with the THREE Vera Wangs? I mean, aren’t you going to be a little warm with three layers of lace? It’s August, girl, whaddayuthinkin’? The only explanation I could come up with was a) you discovered that there two other Fairytale Weddings in H-wood planned for tomorrow so you bought up those dresses, which I totally soooooo get, b) you’re going to keep us guessing as to which you choose at the last minute, c) you’re going to do a pole dance during the ceremony?

Oh, and Kim, a little advice from someone who has been married for 27 years: Every once and a while, clear the reporters out of the room.

Last Tuesday, as London’s streets were filled with young people vandalizing stores and beating up innocent bystanders, I came driving up my street to an alarming sight: three kids walking across my front lawn at dusk, one holding what looked like a semi-automatic pistol in her hand. My heart stopped. Was it spreading to Bethesda?

The three kids crossed the street to the house in front of mine,and it was then I recognized one of them as my neighbor’s son. The pistol in the girl’s hand fired laser beams instead of 9 millimeter hollow points.

It threw my mind back to the “Days of Rage” of the Spring of 1970, after Nixon invaded Cambodia, and four students were killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State. Campuses around the country went wild. I remember visiting Stanford that summer, and seeing grafitti smeared buildings with their windows still broken.

It got crazier. In 1974, a home-grown terrorist organization called ther Symbionese Liberation Army, kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst and turned her into an accomplice in a bank robbery in San Francisco. The membership of the SLA was an improbable mixture of former inmates of Soledad prison and radicalized Berkley residents. The most unlikely member of all was Willie Wolfe, an East Coast boy who had gone to Mt Herman prep school with one of my fraternity brothers at Brown, and who became Patty Hearst’s boyfriend while she was in captivity. He perished along with several other SLA members in the final raid on their hideout in a suburb of LA.

Some of the members of the SLA set a record for remaining on the lam. Kathleen Soliah was arrested in 1999 in Minnesota where she had developed a new identify as the wife of a doctor. James Kilgore was captured in South Africa in 2002. Both have since been released.

Years later, a colleague of my wife’s who had been a young mother during those wild days told me: “You kids scared the hell out of us.”

Had a fabulous soiree for my book launch last night, hosted by my lifelong friend Dave Weisman and his beautiful wife, Jacqui, at their gorgeous digs on Leroy Street in northwest Washington, D.C. Friends from every segment of my life were in attendance, giving it the feel of wedding reception.

This capped a grueling week long jirga with my FINCA management team where we thrashed out some “allignment issues”, e.g., a pretty major investment in IT in the run up to a major expansion. People in Ops are worried that it may take a while for the snake to digest the frog; the IT team just wants to get on with it. I find these kinds of decisions to be the most difficult to mediate for a non-technical manager like myself. I have to go more on instinct than my limited analytical abilities.

To mitigate the stress, Yuriy, my Regional Director for Latin America, shared with us an anecdote from a woman he knew who had traveled to China in search of a cure for her depression. Like all of Yuriy’s stories, it stretches credulity but he tells it so well he makes you want to be gullible.

It seems the woman, upon arriving in China, was taken by mule to a remote, mountainous province, a journey that took several days. Immediately upon her arrival, she was told she would have to perform a number of demeaning, menial tasks, and that — very important — she would have to maintain a permanent smile on her face, or be relegated to even more arduous, demeaning labors.

Her first assignment was to draw water from the river, which was at the bottom of a deep ravine, which could only be accessed via a steep, narrow, winding, rocky trail. While she smiled bravely during the beginning of the descent, she soon grew cranky and tired, and the corners of her mouth settled into an embittered grimace.

Unbeknownst to the woman, her “hosts” were observing her through powerful binoculars throughout her descent. When she returned, she was scolded severely by her hosts, and told she would spend the next two days cleaning latrines. As unpleasant as these duties were, she did manage to smile throughout, and after a week her depression was cured, never to return.

According to Yuriy there is a scientific explanation for this: smiling introduces bio feedback to the pleasure center of the brain, releasing the endorphins which counteract the depression.

Try it! What have you got to lose?

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