“A Trip Down Memory Lane!”

My job started out simply. Pick up the phone, dial the number in question from the phone book, ask to speak to the person listed, and follow the approved script that was provided. It was 1988, Winnipeg.

I was trained in all aspects of fundraising management. I was being groomed for greater things.

Suddenly, a few years had passed. It was in the early 1990s.

I had proven myself to my regional boss and was given a raise and a new temporary job—regional manager for the Saskatchewan fundraising operations for my employer.

It all seemed so simple. I was being promoted into a term position and was essentially being rewarded for my efforts.

The catch? I was going to lose my job within the month, like almost everyone else. Simple. I had to prove myself!

What wasn’t simple was that the company was restructuring, replacing salespeople with computers. Innovation improves the bottom line in all directions but not for many of us employees.

I had accepted a temporary transfer to Brandon’s new call centre, subject to my job performance in Saskatchewan.

I had found out that the chief executive officer of the company had expressed interest in my availability and was prepared to offer me an entry-level position with the event arm of the company based out of Toronto.

I had to close both the Regina and Saskatoon offices within the month and without delay. The catch? Avoid lawsuits, and settle with employees, clients, and vendors for lack of notice.

My life as a corporate “puppet on a string” had officially began.

There was no set guide for closing down an office; I had to work my magic.

My first call was to the landlords cancelling our leases, followed by a call to our courier service extending their contract for several years.

I then called our newspapers, cancelled our job ads and posted an ad giving notice to all of our new call centre taking over by the date management provided.

I then contacted all our clients and advised them of my interim promotion and its temporary nature.

The first casualty was firing both trainers. I changed our address on all our post office boxes. Cancelled our utilities, transferred our phone lines, the works.

Canada Post picked up their postage machine and packing began. I even sold our office furniture prior to closing.

I called a meeting for all my employees at the same time and announced the creation of our Call Centre in Brandon. Offered transfers to those who proved their worth and gave two weeks notice to everyone.


No litigation. All was handled. My magic was working!

I repeated the same performance in Saskatoon successfully.

I had passed their tests and was given a new job and title: “operations” manager for events.

On with the show!