Cheryl Klein

It went under, of course. Before it did, the bosses made extravagant promises (You can have the world. For free! There will be pop-up ads,) but then--got mad when the kids expected the world, for free.

Olivia Na didn't expect the world. She was an English major, didn't want to be a teacher, never thought she'd find a job at all. So, one with benefits and an ergonomic chair? Sheesh. She was gonna hang on while it was good, then take her pension and run to San Francisco when the yuppies leaked out. Squat in their shells. Smoke in the fog.

Eddy Bainborough didn't. He was an engineering major, punched numbers in the cold hours of the morning, never expected to be part of something flashy. Flash animation -- just from the name you could tell it was better than Applied Numerical Methods 151B. There were no girls like Olivia in Applied Numerical Methods 151B.

Janelle McGurl did, but she would have been that way no matter what. Her parents would have set her up with one of the studios if she'd wanted, but the stock options glistened like a Tahiti beach, and the free vacations to Tahiti beaches weren't bad either. The letter folded in her lap (We are sorry to inform you-) shook her right into the Peace Corps.

In the end there were some jilted customers, and one of the bosses had to trade in his new Lexus LX 470 for a certified pre-owned Lexus ES 300.

First published: May 2001