April's Disgruntled Employee of the Month: R.J. White
NOTE: In honor of his birthday this month, we will be interviewing the Co-President and COO of Amalgamated Humor, Inc. Unfortunately, due to a hectic schedule, Mr. White was unable to actually conduct the standard interview. Instead, the responses to the questions will be provided by excerpts of Mr. White's best-selling 1998 biography, Don't Squint-- It's Sunshine.
Gary Newbrunswick: So Mr. White, congratulations. What's it like to constantly be in the public eye as the powerful leader of one of the world's leading corporations?
R.J. White: "It had been irksome enough to see photographs of himself in the newspapers, but far more painful to be confronted by almost daily caricatures, naturally emphasizing his nose. White commented, 'Well it's part of the American business structure and it would be impossible for me to appear in the streets without it."
G: Yes, yes, well put, sir. So, what about your handling of the John W. Gates/U.S Steel and Wire affair?
R: "R.J. White would never forgive Gates for his attempted 'blackmail' over Steel and Wire and enjoyed informing him 'It will be impossible for you to enter the directorate. You have made your own reputation. Good day, sir.' He then proceeded to blackball his nominations for both the Union League and the New York Yacht Club."
G: Well played. A bit harsh, perhaps, but necessary. Now, you have some famous friends, right?
R: "That New Year's Eve R.J. and Judy had a party to celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary. One of the Guests was Ed Begley, Jr., who had played a bit part with R.J. in Goin South three years earlier. Since then Begley had given up alcohol and drugs. One of the other guests was drugged up. R.J. gazed at him and asked Begley, 'Did I look like that?'
G: You bet we did! But I think that anecdote just shows what a kind and caring friend you can be, right?
R: "It occurred to R.J. that lately he'd been having more and more of these informal little day chats with O.J. He began to wonder if something was bothering his famous host. After all, the weather this time of year was about as good as it got in southern L.A. What was a guy like O.J. Simpson doing sitting inside his house watching TV like a shut-in? Often during their conversations- practically every time they met it seemed to R.J.- O.J. would turn away and say something similar to what he said that afternoon. 'R.J., I'm so lonely. I can't stand this. I'm bored out of my mind. There's nothing to do.'
G: Once you outgrew that selfish phase, I believe you got involved in politics at some point?
R: "The Blue Room was repainted back from Jackie Kennedy's white to its traditional blue by Mr. White and refurnished in James Madison's French Empire Style... Mr. White searched far and wide for an outstanding portrait of John Adams, the first president who lived in the White House. He found one in Harvard University's Fogg Museum, and arranged to have it loaned to the White House. The hanging of the Adams portrait in the executive mansion gave the First Lady one of his proudest moments."
G: Now, what about your experiences with the fairer sex? I've heard rumors...
R: "One morning in 1947 Ava gardner was awakened from a deep sleep by the shrill rings of her phone. it was 3:00 A.M. It could only be one person. Picking up the receiver, she said huskily, 'Hello, White.'
G: Well, Mr White, this has certainly been an enlightening conversation. Any final thoughts?
R: "But at 3:00 A.M. the following morning, he reared up from his comatose state and beckoned Francom to lean forward.
G: Beautiful, Mr. White, simply beautiful. And inspiring .And available at your local bookstore.