Jay Haskell

Jay Haskell also took VSI in January of 1993, but I usually don't group his exit with those of Steve Kauder, Denise Praizler, and Rosemary Kramer, because he had been planning on quitting HP and, in partnership with friend Steve Juvelier, starting his own advertising company before VSI was announced; he just took advantage of the VSI HP offered because it was there. Like Rosemary, Jay had come to the Learning Products group from Marcom (Marketing Communications) when that department was dissolved, but unlike Rosemary, Jay was technically much stronger. He could easily handle the technical aspect of the job, although it didn't appeal to him as much as the promotional side of the business.

The one aspect of Jay that stands out most in my mind was his tact. Regardless of the franticness or anger of the person he was talking to, Jay was always the epitome of tact and diplomacy. I learned a lot from him.

Something you should know before reading the poem below: When Marcom was disbanded, they first heard of it from a guy from Personnel who came down to deliver the news. As if to soften the blow, the Personnel guy brought along a box of muffins to munch on during the meeting. As you can imagine, ever since that time, muffins have been associated with, and are an indelible symbol of, being excessed.

(One more thing: When I named this poem, I was not thinking of that portion of Ludwig von Beethoven's 9th Symphony, which was based on Schiller's poem "Ode to Joy." Honest!)

(back to "Farewell Poems" Table of Contents)

Ode to Jay
Copyright 1993 David Arns

Once upon a weekday dreary,
While he stared with vision bleary,
At the color monitor
    Jay daily looked at, eight to four,
Who should break his concentration,
But a man whose occupation
Was to do the dirty work
    involved in making people poor:
He set his jaw, walked through the door.

Jay saw the stranger enter there--
He swallowed hard, he gasped for air--
What was that the man was holding
    as he walked in at the door?
It was true, he wasn't bluffin'!
In the box, a tray of muffins!
Instantly, Jay thought of nothin'
    save the pastries that he bore;
The prospects shook him to the core.

Well, to make a shorter story,
I'll omit the details gory,
As to Marcom's fading glory
    in Building 1, the lower floor.
Suffice to say, Jay's group was excessed,
But, since then, his life has progressed,
Now he states his current address
    "Learning Products, Second Floor."
How could anyone want more?

So, for the last year, maybe two,
He's written manuals not a few,
And used his diplomatic skills
    he'd learned in Marcom long before:
He was liaison to O'Reilly,
And, of course, we prized him highly
For the smooth and tactful style he
    used, that brought him to the fore--
But that was all in days of yore.

Now, it seems, he's getting antsy,
Something else has caught his fancy,
Something worth a wild chance: he
    plans on going out the door.
Bankrolled by his new-found money,
Launching forth for milk and honey,
To the side of the street that's sunny,
    out to make new bucks galore.
But work at HP? Nevermore!

He and Juvelier are planning,
In the gold-rich stream they're panning
For those golden nuggets, scanning
    business prospects laid in store.
Years of service notwithstanding,
Jay's horizons, he's expanding;
Though the LP group's disbanding,
    we'll regroup, the skies to soar.
Best of luck, Jay, evermore.

(back to "Farewell Poems" Table of Contents)