A few years ago, back before my boss, S, had been promoted to Vice President, I thought it would be fun to play a prank on him.

Now before I get much further into that part of the story, I should tell you (and I will probably get in trouble for saying this), but the alter-ego of the Beloved is a large African American woman named Laquisha who is fluent in ebonics, has the neck of a bobble head as necessary, and can wag her finger with the best of ’em.

So back to the first part of the story: we had recently lost our investor relations guy, and S, at that time the director of finance, was given this responsibility, as well. Part of the reason the former investor relations guy went on to “pursue other opportunities” was because he had become quite cozy with some yahoo posters and maybe provided a little too much information. He didn’t have a lot of discretion.  (I know, kinda like me writing this post.)

Well, this group of yahoo’s continued to call the investor relations guy’s number, now being forwarded to S’s phone. And he was irritated with the pettiness of their inquiries, especially since he was refusing to provide any information to them beyond what was available in public filings and press releases. And this irritated the yahoo’s.  And their irritation irritated S even further.  In addition, he would get calls from lil’ ‘ol ladies dialing from their rotary phones who owned some small amount of shares from back when things were written on stone tablets, and wanted such and such information in paper format. 

So after much cajoling and bribing of Laquisha, I devised a plan to multiply his pain.  That’s the kind of employee I am.  Going all out.  150%.  Every day.  

Laquisha was to call the investor relations guy, now S, and be a pissed off shareholder.  OWNING ONLY 10 SHARES. And we’re talking about a stock that inherently does not trade at a high dollar price.  I gave her some prompts for a script, but the rest would be improvised.  Because Laquisha is at her worst best when she’s fired up.  She could easily star on COPS.  Or Bounty Hunter.  And I was going to listen from outside his office.

In some of the public information, it was indicated that one of the wells we were involved with had been T&A’d, or Temporarily Abandoned.  But T&A, in circles of adolescent boys, also stands for “tits and ass.”  And this would become the subject of the prank call. 

“<Name of Company>, this is S.”

“Dis be da vestin’ relation parson?”

“Yes, ma’am, how can I help you?”

“Yeauh, my name be Laquisha.  An I own stock in yo company.  I bought ten shares and I am damn pissed off right now ’cause my cousin’, Lamar, he sed you be postin’ ponography some T&A like tits and ass on yo website!  Now that Lamar, he be a lyin’ little shit, so I gone done seen fo’ myself and Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, he was right! 

“Um.  Ma’am.  No.”  S was stumbling, stammering. 

“Don’t chew be inneruptin’ me, young man.  I read right there you talking about tits and ass, that T&A shit!  Now I be a good Christian woman and I wanna know what you gone do about givin’ me my money back.”

“Uh, ma’am.  No T&A means Temporarily Abandoned.”

“Das not tits & ass?”

“No, ma’am.”

And then?  And then?  She jumped out of character!!! 

“S.  This is Jen.  I was kidding.  R put me up to it.”

Oh. My. God.  She outed me!

At which point I poked my head in his office far enough to see him beet-red embarrassed and chatting up Jen like he knew it all along.  I was assailed by the colorful language he was throwing in my direction. 

But I didn’t hear much of what he said. 

Because I was on the floor laughing.