December 5, 2009

Now I Can Tell the True Story

By Paul Bieber

I had been sworn to secrecy years ago. When she first crashed the gate at the Glass Show on Long Island. But now, with it all over the news, and Congress investigating, the full story can be told.

The year—2007.

The place—The Wind Watch Hotel, on Long Island, NY

The event—The Glass Expo

The facts—I was the volunteer greeter at the front of the exhibition hall. Welcome everyone in, answer questions, and check their badges for counterfeits. It seems that some people from the plastics industry were trying to gain access to our glass show, with their evil plan to replace glass with plastic everywhere.

“Hi Jim, Hi Bob,” I was saying, when she appeared from around the corner. Tall, slinky thin, long straight blond hair, a long black dress with a slit that never stopped going north, and a little too much make-up for the Glass Expo. I guessed right away she was not a windshield installer.

We had been briefed by Deb Levy to watch out for this nefarious group. They tried to disrupt the Chicago Expo a couple of months earlier. But, I was all alone at the door. What if I was wrong, and insulted a real customer? What if I let her in, and she started talking about unbreakable glazing material? Once those seeds are planted, you could see the industry withering up. What should I do?

She approached me at the door. Her perfume announced her presence from eight paces. Some would have thought it was a little too much…I just breathed in and let my lungs have a party. Her smile said it all…”Here I am buddy, take a look, have a dream, and then get out of my way.” I pulled my stare from her blue eyes to the name badge pinned on her rather large….

Belt, her large belt held her name tag. It said ‘Lola’, with no last name. The company was listed as “Lola’s Consulting”. I knew that you never trust a consultant. My antenna was twitching. Her husky voice called out to me, “Hi there, is the right place to enter the glass industry show? I would like to look around.” I couldn’t stop staring, her smile seemed painted on, her dress’ slit still heading north. I didn’t look at the badge close enough, and could only stammer, “Sure, go ahead.”

Lola walked around the show, handing out her card, getting her picture taken with various owners of glass companies, spreading her story that one day soon, glass will be obsolete. Yet, no one heard her words.

The next day, on Lola’s face book page, there was a picture of her along with the smiling owner of the largest contract glazier in the region. The glazier’s wife, Marie, received an e-mailed copy from her sister. Marie took out her shotgun and asked her husband who the dame was who had her arm around him. He just couldn’t speak. He didn’t even remember meeting her at the show, all evidence to the contrary.

Lola had succeeded in causing grief to the glass industry. That was her job, and she did it well.

You know how they say that”……flows down hill”. Well, I was the downhill. I let her in the show, on what now appeared to be a false name tag. I didn’t do my job, and was told that I could not volunteer again. How could I tell my wife and kids that bad news. Maybe I could just forget about it. I tried, to no avail.

Now, I wonder what Lola said to Vice-President Biden and even to President Obama.

The results—Door-keepers of future Glass Expos, be warned: Lola is still out there.