Tattletale

One morning in late winter when I worked for the frozen- dinner folks, I hung my coat on the hook behind the door of my office.  For whatever corporate logic, my small office was right on VP row, where good deals were made and dilemmas were wisely resolved.  Usually.

That morning, some anomaly of sound made a top-secret discussion among several vice-presidents clearly audible to me.  What I heard was so stupid it made “hold my beer and watch this” seem inspirational.

It seemed that the USDA had ruled 100,000 pounds of salisbury steak dinners unsellable because the description on the side of the package failed to list pimiento as an ingredient.  What the VPs were proposing was the excavation of a huge hole and the burial of the perfectly good food.  Like with several backhoes.  In a town with a population so small that the burial would have major entertainment value.  It was to be highly secretive, which, I imagined, would have involved the killing of the backhoe drivers and witnesses. Even to me, a lowly peon, this seemed short-sighted.

So I flounced (ask my husband, anger makes me a powerful good flouncer) down the hall into my boss’ office, and with righteous indignation, I tattled!  Not only did I spill the details on this top-secret, idiotic plan.

I threatened to call 60 minutes.

Well, the rest of the story went something like this:  My boss went to his boss and they both decided that this could be turned into a PR win if we could locate a Food Bank who could handle that food.  Which we did.  We not only saved the population of a small town and a bunch of backhoes.  We fed a lot of hungry people.

And inadvertantly, we established what turned out to be a tradition.  The company donated to that Food Bank every year.

Sometimes, tattling is a very good thing.

4 thoughts on “Tattletale

  1. I want to root for you here, but as someone who has hired a backhoe driver to illegally bury something, I’m not so sure. This story reminds me of the good people at Schlitz brewing digging huge holes around their brewery to bury thousands of cases of beer gone bad back in the 70s. Is that the corporate solution? I know, guys, let’s bury it!

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