Last April, only one Ketchum consultant - me - filled the denim AFP Conference market bag until its weight swelled my fingers and stuff protruding from the bag relegated me to the aisle seats in the back of the seminar rooms. Of course, “the clever stuff” lured me to engage with those on booth duty. Our own Ketchum booth gave away triangle shaped highlighters with lime green, orange and pink on each tip and spongy red cowboy hats – after all, we were in Dallas, Texas.
The yard long boxes of bubble gum went into Suzie and her college roommate Nicole’s Easter baskets. The highlighters went into my office drawer. Brianna and I played with the Ketchum hats, balancing them on our heads and walking until they dropped. Ed got the neon safety vest for his coach.
Weeks later, when all the conference goodies were distributed just to raise a smile, I received a watch in the mail. Centered on its face was a Ketchum logo and my name lifted from a business card. Not very businesslike for my professional dress, I tucked the watch into my jewelry box – forgotten until I was looking for my "fishing jewelry" to wear while on Lake George with Ed. I tucked the watch in pocket of my shorts.
We trolled along in our boat for awhile along Roger’s Rock. When we idled for a while for Ed to change lures, I ceremonially pulled the watch from my pocket, offered a requiem, and tossed the watch into the air. It arched over the water, plopped on the lake surface, and then sunk to the lake bottom some 30 feet below. It was a last reminder of my corporate self. No more time for Ketchum and I slipped the boat throttle forward.