My first consulting assignment at AT&T was ending on November 30. Looking for more work, I called a director I knew. “Patrick,” I said, do you have consulting work for me?”
“I do,” he replied, “but since you work in the TLA group, I can’t pick you up. I have an agreement not to raid the TLA.”
“I don’t work for the TLA,” I said, “I just happen to have my office there. I’m being paid by (I named another director).”
“Doesn’t matter,” he said, “if your office was elsewhere I could take you, but I can’t touch you as long as you’re in the TLA.”
I found an empty office in another AT&T building. It wasn’t locked, and the guards would let me in on the strength of my AT&T consultant ID card. I had no idea if Patrick was serious. I moved in over Thanksgiving weekend.
On December first I called him. “Patrick, here I am in my AT&T office on Patriot’s Blvd.”
I had an intense feeling that I had let go of one trapeze bar, and had no idea where the second bar was.
“Great,” he said, “come on over, I need you to run a project.” I packed up and moved on to my second consulting job.