Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Whatever became of Mickey?

Mickey(not his real name) was a power to be reckoned with. He was purchasing manager for a local company that manufactured large agricultural equipment that incorporated tons of steel and sophisticated electronic parts.

We at BBS became acquainted with Mickey through our recycling operations. They generated truckloads of scrap metal. We sold them some new steel on an immediate need basis but their purchases were in large quantities and cut to lengths that would insure minimum waste and preparation on their part.

The competition for their business was intense. It all had to be approved by Mickey.

I was skeptical when a tenant in a rental I owned told me she had called police the night before as Mickey was banging on her door in the middle of the night screaming the name of a woman and vowing to kill her.

Mickey apparently been drinking with some friends and on the way home became so obnoxious his buddies dumped him out of the car at an intersection near the rental.

My partner who dealt with Mickey expressed disbelief when I related the incident. There was a one line entry in a police report in the local paper confirming. Mickey was back on the job the next day.

Phone calls started coming in. Mickey was very high handed. The company was cancelling orders leaving suppliers stuck with cut to order product. They were paying their bills and reordering other material. What did we know?

Then the calls changed to they are extending their payments, collections are tough, we have material prepared to their specifications. Can you tell us what is happening?

The other shoe dropped. The company closed.

We thought Mickey came out right side up. He was now production manager for another local manufacturing company.

Then he vanished.

Two years later he walked into my office asking to be hired as a laborer.

He stated that he had been working at a manufacturing company in Seattle. One night he had repeated the door banging thing. This time when the police arrived he attempted to run away. The police released a dog that clamped its teeth into his leg and as he attempted to dislodge the animal it took a chunk of muscle leaving a large divot.

He had sued and received a judgement of $40,000.00. While waiting for the check he had tapped his mother's savings and tapped his friends but now he needed a job. I hired him.

From time to time one of my suppliers would ask if I had heard anything of Mickey. It gave me a pleasure to say that he was working as a day laborer in my warehouse.

One morning my manager reported Mickey's check from Seattle. He opened the safe and indicated a paper bag.

He had accompanied our work crew to a nearby restaurant that included a backroom with a long bar.

Mickey was there throwing out $50.00 bills to buy drinks for the house. He had cashed the huge check and demanded the money in cash.

Steve my operations manager had enticed him back to our office fearing someone would hit him over the head. My store manager reminded him about his mother exhausting her savings counting on reimbursements.

He surrendered the bag and staggered off to his nearby flophouse room.

My employees were able to get a list of debts and pay them on his behalf. For the most part he came by to draw enough money to stay drunk for a few days. He bought an old car that broke down. His bouts with the bottle became longer and longer and eventually his health broke.

He was hospitalized and disappeared from the area.

He was bright and talented. In the short time he worked for me he designed and built special work aids out of steel and was very personable in demonstrating welders for sale to customers.

He screwed up his life because he of his addiction to alcohol.

What a waste!


Blogger Mike Barer said...

Of course everyone who reads this in Walla Walla knows who you are talking about and I think it was pretty big news up here. I remember riding back on the Bassett Transit with him back in late '92. He was like 360 degree different than when he was PA for the agri-bus company.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Danny Barer said...

The alcohol abuse seems to be a constant theme in these vignettes.

It's kind of like the VH1 BEHIND THE MUSIC episodes where rock stars would be profiled. The first 30 minutes of the episode would be about the star's success. At the half-hour mark, they'd start talking about the drugs.

11:57 AM  

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