This page is for people to share memories of TFS.  As the chief blabbermouth I’ll begin.

Jan (1990-2000) 

I almost didn’t take the job.  TRW Financial Systems.  I pictured a bunch of accountants busy at their calculators.  I imagined endless hours of filing financial documents for a quiet, uptight, close-knit group of white-shirted, myopic, every hair in place, serious CPAs to whom I would just be “the temp.”  A disposable commodity easily replaced if I didn’t quite fit the bill, which I knew I wouldn’t because I am one of those people whose math brain is as soft as cottage cheese and about as useful.  Once they figured out my secret, I would be out of there.  Maybe I’d make twenty-five dollars for half a day; five of which would be used for parking.  I’d have to report to the temp agency, another failure.

But after being directed to the third floor I was greeted with a big, bear hug by Mary Alice Lynch (then Colvin), and introduced to a smiling, barefoot Bob Upshaw, whose towel seemed to be always hanging over the door to his office.  I was told one of my first duties would be to arrange October’s Friday night blowout on the roof garden: beer, wine  and moussaka from the local Greek restaurant.  The other secretary, Carla (who claimed she really shouldn’t be a secretary and that’s why I was there) told me not to worry because no matter what I did, someone would complain.  There was always not enough wine, or the wrong type of wine, and not enough food, especially for the vegetarians. She told me about one gent, Wayne, who would swell up like beached whale if there was even a hint of peanut oil in anything he touched, requiring an immediate shot to the abdomen and a rush to the emergency room (which I would have to do because I would be responsible).  She warned me with gothic sincerity that it was impossible to know the real ingredients of a dish.  That restaurants and bakeries lied.    Thus, success was not an option.  I’d found the perfect place for me.

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4 comments
  1. David Brown said:

    Well Jan Wayne forwarded your blog a while back. Then I misplaced the ref. Michael S reminded me the other day that it had expanded into an operatic form. Anyway glad to see someone is recording those salad days of yore. Maybe the next thing is some grand reunion before we all fade away.

    • Hey Dave. Sadly I’m nearly to the bottom of my pile of forum email. I was hoping someone else would have a story to tell or a picture to share, but it hasn’t worked out that way. I do have a bit more of the “opera,” though I’m never sure how much of it to publish on line. So far no death threats so I guess I’ll continue.

  2. David Brown said:

    Well there are a number of TFS travel stories from Norway and the Netherlands. Not sure how much could/should be published since the people involved are still around. I could send then privately – don’t think I have a current e-mail though.

    • Re publishing email stories, it’s a hard call. I generally black out someone’s name if I have any question. Many of the scenes in CodeSlingers were based on actual events which were never recorded in an email string. The easily recognizable characters have all heard or read the entire musical without being insulted. (except the person on whom The Mighty Sol was based) However, any one I thought might be embarrassed I drew so broadly that they could be any number of people. There was no shortage of potential character material at TFS.

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