Publication date: March 7, 1995
You know, the Chinese word for "problem" is the same as the word for "opportunity," and that explains China. But I have my own way of doing things. Hire a yuppie? I called up Microsoft and had them send one on over. Scot Velbin. Pleasant fellow. Had a resumé as long as a smaller man's arm; but not one word there about the capacity for caring.
Me: "Says here you have outstanding qualifications -- and considerable corporate-level experience, Scot -- for the job of being our yuppie. But --"
Velbin: "-- but absolutely no qualifications for anything else, that's right, sir, thank you."
Hmm. Scot Velbin. Craven. Stammered when he spoke to me. But there was something about his frankness and his cut-to-the-chase honesty that made me sick to my stomach. I hired him and made him head of our Deceptive Practices Dept. because I frankly did not trust the people I had there.
He comes in a week later. "Mr. Clark? I recommend we form an Awards Division. Give our publications awards every year. Then we could call ourselves Award-Winning without having to lie like we do now." Good God. I recognized this kind of thinking: it requires the mind of a yuppie. I was struck by a chill of foreboding, the smell of death. And I just stared at him until the flop-sweat had destroyed his fancy suit before thanking him and letting him go.
Next day I got on the horn with my man in D.C. and had him slip a typo into that new federal hiring law; he's a teenager and it was easy for him. And I had Velbin step into my office. "Say, Scot, it looks like I must have read wrong. The law states that I have to fire a yuppie every year. Goddamn Republicans." And I told him I'd hold onto his resumé for next year. Sadly, the man wept bitter little tears. Interesting. Later, as an afterthought, I got on the phone and had him fired from his next four jobs, in the event that he should manage to obtain that kind of sustained employment.
Well, we all got back to the difficult task of living our lives. And from the ashes of that unpleasant experience was born Seattle Whitely. A 16-page parody for use in making fun of yuppies. And, I hasten to add, the winner (and runner-up!) of the 1995 Velbin Award for Excellence in Ridicule.