(Originally posted Tuesday, May 20, 2008 ) A Q&A interview with Ned Stevens, president of the RAINCC Corp. by Laura Hendertree, Business Staff Writer
Q: Mr. Stevens, your company has had a stellar year, with rising profits and a 15% increase in clients, following a 32% increase the year before. What are some of the goals that your company hopes to achieve in the next 5 years?
A: Laura, there are all sorts of things I'd like to tell you about building out our business and our dedication to quality business solutions that will help you grow your asset base. But the thing I'd like to talk about most of all right now is the fact that I'm taking lithium.
Q: Oh. I see. Um, I'm sorry to hear it. But putting that aside, how does RAINCC Corp. plan to stay competitive with other clicks and mortar firms in a highly challenging high tech niche space?
A: Listen Laura, let's cut the crap for a minute. Now we all know that RAINCC is going to keep growing, doing team building. All that good shit. But let's try to keep it real here for a minute. I'm a 47-year-old chain smoker. My son's in college and hates me because he never sees me. I spend a lot of time playing golf on the links, slapping the backs of people I can't stand, and I've been doing this for a lot of years now. I've pretty much prostituted my intellect and my bunghole for a trip to the top of the hot squat. And so, you're right, RAINCC has a 30% market share in the financial derivatives cross-trading hedging swap space. But forget that's who I am. Just for a moment. I'm also a man. A person with a spirit. I have needs. I need for five minutes a day just for somebody not to talk to me like I'm a robot.
Q: Mr. Stevens, are you sure this isn't the point in the conversation where you talk about what it's like to be part of a winning team with an ingrained, service-centric culture?
A: Laura, I know that's what your list of questions is. But come off it! You're an attractive woman. You have a nice face and beautiful breasts. I cannot deny what I feel. What I am. The things that stir my spirit and fire my loins. Sometimes I just want to get out of here and go smoke a joint because it feels like I can't say one honest thing to anybody. Do you know what it feels like to be that trapped? Don't you think we can afford a little honesty in our lives? Even us, here in this high pressure world where everybody's measuring his dick all the time?
Q: Are you referring to a need for greater transparency and values-driven oversight?
A: No! God damnit! I'll tell you what's driving me, Laura. It's a need for some fucking human warmth. From you or anybody. Talking in these idiotic sound bites and business euphemisms all day ... I swear it's sapping life-giving nutrients from my body.
Q: And that's hard I guess, when clients are demanding greater empathy and human-touch capabilities?
A: The other day I was sitting at my desk at RAINCC...
Q: Quality-control client-centric initiatives....
A: ... and I just shit in my pants right there at my desk to see what it would feel like.
Q: Um, Mr. Stevens, why don't we talk about asset hedging. Doesn't it require a specialized...
A: You don't understand. You fucking harpy, can't you see what you're doing? Can't you see how you're stifling me and making me crazy, just like the rest of them? You know that I sneak into my executive washroom three hours a day now and listen to the Manson's family's rock album? Just because it sometimes feels like murder is the only pure thing in the universe?
Q: Outsourcing is big right now. Do you want to talk about that?
A: Yes. I want to outsource my brain from my fucking head. I mean, totally fucking liberate it with a hacksaw. Don't you see? We're all residents on a magic string of light. And we can't deny that very spiritual truth just for the bottom line. We become sick when we do that. I want to take off my pants right now and declare myself a Nietzschean superman. What would you think of that?
Q: But sir, how will that serve the needs of the ultra-high-net-worth resource vendor?
A: Ugh. Just shoot me in the mother fucking head, why don't you?
Q: Sir. I think I know what you're saying.
A: You do?
Q: I think you're saying that it requires sensitivity and maturity to serve the needs of a demanding clientele in a secular market niche with a lot of turnover, right? That it requires the right kind of deep talent bench to make those kinds of big client plays.
A: Laura. I almost feel like you understand. I thought I heard something in there like empathy. Laura, can I take you to bed?
Q: Sir, people want that maturity because clients want constant reassurance from those who give them the things they need to grow their business. That can be very stressful.
A: I'm in love with you Laura. I'll say it. Or whatever it was I thought I was in love with, now it's you. How do you feel about that?
Q: I wanted to thank you for this opportunity to sit down and pick your brain about the trends going on in the high tech swap derivative vendor distribution space. It has been greatly enlightening and thrilling to know your long-term goals.
A: Don't leave me now, Laura. You're my last link to reality.
A: I'll keep saying it until you answer Laura ... don't go ... don't go ... don't go..... I'm so alone.... I'm so alone...