Jewish World Review April 22, 2003 / 20 Nissan, 5763
More time with the kids
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Every time an executive gets fired for screwing up, the corporation puts out a press release that he is leaving because he "wants to spend more time with his family."
So the other day, whom should I run into waiting for his two kids to come out of the Washington International School but Edward Turner, who had just been fired from Boom Boom Communications for losing $23 million.
"Good seeing you, Ed. I see you're spending more time with your family."
He didn't know if I was being funny or not.
Finally he said, "Too much time, if you ask me. I didn't know that spending more time with my family meant having to drive the kids to school every morning and home every afternoon."
"It figures," I said. "That is how you get to know your family."
"When I first got home they didn't know who I was. My wife explained that I was not only the father of the family, but had once been the breadwinner - at least until recently. In the first days I kept getting the children mixed up at dinner. I called my son Sherry and my daughter Rick. They were as confused as I was."
"It takes a workaholic time get used to his family again," I said to cheer him up.
"They play those stupid video games all afternoon and evening. I was hoping we would gather around the piano and sing Stephen Foster songs."
I said, "Ed, you have been working too long."
"Sherry and Rick's friends say I bankrupted the company. I don't deserve that just because my picture keeps appearing in the papers and on TV."
"The kids should defend their father. After all, you managed to get a golden parachute."
"My wife says all of her friends' husbands have lost their pensions, but she says that everyone claims I came out smelling like a rose."
"You still did the right thing by having a golden parachute," I said. "There are a lot of fathers who say they want to spend more time with their kids, but most of them say it because they don't have a job."
"At least I'm now offering them quality time. But all they want is quantity time with their friends."
"That's today's culture," I said. "The kids prefer their pals to their parents and talks on the telephone with anyone except their mother or father."
"You got that one right. I think I was much more comfortable when I spent all my time buying businesses that went bust."
"You haven't said much about your wife. Where is she in all this?"
"As soon as she read I was quitting to spend more time with my kids, she went back to practicing law. She said I should try to see what it's like to stay home."
I said, "I see the kids are starting to come out."
"No big deal - mine are always the last ones to leave. They will get in the car, arrive home, then go to their rooms and call the people they just saw a few minutes ago."
"And what will you be doing?"
"I'm starting to build up a nifty stamp collection."
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