The Stress Doc Letter
Cybernotes from the Online
Fight when you can
Take flight when you must
Flow like a dream
In the Phoenix we trust!
Table of Contents
Heads Up: Event Solutions, Conocimiento Y Dirrecion, Training Kit/Book, AOL Chat
Rap: "Cutting Edge" Strategies for Reorganizing and Downsizing
Five Macro and Micro Strategies for Post-Enron Reorganization
1. Training Kit: Want to strengthen your ability to lead or market a stress workshop or any kind
of speaking/training program? Consider the Stress Doc Training/Marketing Kit, which includes both
"how to" manual and articles and the opportunity for phone coaching. For more info:
Training/Marketing Kit or email.
2. Stress Doc Book:
From Stress Brakes and Shrink Rap to Safe Stress and Cool Moon Cats:
The Wit and Wisdom of the Stress Doc, Stress Doc Enterprises, 1995
A 90 page compilation of my former syndicated radio essays, pioneering songs in the field of
psychologically humorous rap music - "Shrink Rap" Productions - a creative visualization
poem and other humorous lyrics/poems. "Stress Brake" radio essays are short (300 words),
fast-paced and witty, covering such topics as stress, burnout, anger and conflict resolution, time
management, creativity, men's and women's issues, romantic relationships, codependency, etc. (They
make excellent fillers for newsletters.)
Price: $20 (which covers priority postage and handling)
Make check payable to: Mark Gorkin
Send check to:
Stress Doc Enterprises
1616 18th Street, NW #312
Washington, DC 20009-2542
a) Provided extensive psychological perspective for "The Anatomy of Incentive Travel,"
Event Solutions, July 2002
b) Stress Doc "Downsizing Strategies" satire appears in the Argentinian Human Resources
publication, CONOCIMIENTO Y DIRECCION. (Spanish synopsis and complete English texts below.)
c) Shortened version of the classic, "Four Stages of Burnout," is appearing in the
Philadelphia-Professional Conference Managemetn Association (PCMA) online newsletter. (Email
email@example.com for the new version.)
4. Chat Group and Live Workshops
a) Stop by my AOL/Digital City Shrink Rap (TM) and Group Chat DC Support Chat, Tuesdays,
9:30-11pm EST DC Support Chat. It's a dynamic, lively, at times witty and always warm, thoughtful
and supportive problem-solving group. We raise questions and share our ideas, hopes and experiences
with each other.
"Cutting Edge" Strategies for Reorganizing or Downsizing
As much as the US economoy has has faltered, the Argenine economy has truly been battered. I
suppose this is one reason that an HR publication chose to reprint my satire on downsizing. I've
provided both Spanish synopsis and the complete English text. It's almost as wicked as all those
CEOs we've been reading about. It's followed by the shortened version of, "The Four Stages of
Click here: CONOCIMIENTO Y DIRECCION
Estrategias "tajantes" para el Downsizing
Autor de la nota
Estrategias "tajantes" para la Reorganización o el Downsizing
En su habitual estilo satírico, el norteamericano Mark Gorkin analiza la reestructuración
organizacional, y sus efectos en la fuerza laboral. Mientras algunos defienden un lineamiento
conducido por el mercado o las políticas, el psicohumorista defiende un modo de achicamiento de
mayor nivel, casi visionario.
Advertencia: Esta sátira puede afectar a quien carezca de ironía.
"El desafío para los altos cargos consiste en tener el entendimiento y las agallas para
destruir gran parte de su fuerza laboral al tiempo que mantiene la supervivencia de la productividad
y la moral de grupo"
"Recuérdele constantemente a los empleados sobrevivientes que debieran estar agradecidos
por tener un trabajo".
"Evite sentimientos negativos a través de la motivación positiva".
"Asegúrese de que los mandos medios y los supervisores parezcan aceptar felizmente el hacer
más con menos".
"Cutting Edge" Strategies for Reorganizing or Downsizing
The "Stress Doc's" Top Ten Tips for Tip-Top Management
Warning: This satire may be hazardous to the ironically-impaired.
In this era of organizational restructuring or downsizing, or better still, right-sizing, or most
on target, what I call "fright-sizing," the challenge for top management is having the
savvy and guts to gut much of your workforce while still maintaining survivor productivity and team
morale - that "esprit de corpse." While some advocate a market- or politics-driven
streamlining, I believe in a higher-level, visionary downsizing mode. To create a
"lean-and-MEAN" working machine requires an Olympian management team capable of both
thunderously jolting a downtrodden, demotivated workforce and being down to earth, "hands
on" role models. (Oh yes, in these hypersensitive, politically correct times, just be careful
where you place those hands. If you have any questions, please refer to Mitsubishi's personnel
policies and procedures manual.)
Warning: Some critics will claim these forthcoming strategies produce less
"lean-and-mean" operations and more "lean-and-mean-spirited" organizations.
Ignore such soft-headed, liberal posturing. Now for your "Top Ten" cutting edge
commandments. Go for it!
1. Keep Employees Grateful and Humble. Continuously remind employee survivors they should be
thankful to have a job. By not filling those vacant positions there's less competition for eventual
promotions (assuming, of course, there's not another RIF - Reduction In Force). For recalcitrant,
insufficiently grateful employees, some cheerfully designed signs - "thank you for not
whining" and "beware the effects of second-hand whining" - may be prominently
displayed in the work and break areas).
2. Avoid Negative Feelings through Positive Motivation. Hire a hot shot outplacement team to
motivate people to ignore their feelings of betrayal, fear and rage and to generate employee
enthusiasm and positive thinking about updating the resume. Reassure confused and vulnerable
employees that a change of job or an out-of-state position is the new learning curve they've
probably needed. Hey, it's so prehistoric, so "p.b." - pre-boomer - to work twenty or
thirty years in one place.
3. Separate the Transitionally Displaced. Create a transition center for the dispirited who
no longer have a job (but are still on payroll) that removes them from the rest of the company.
Without distractions, these isolates will focus expeditiously on their future career plans. (And
don't let anyone mistake this center for a leper colony; these individuals are ill-fated, not
4. Beware the "Blame Game." Refuse to have management-employee team building/group
grieving sessions; open expression of feelings just makes management the target of "another
bitch session." (Please do not impute any sexist connotation to either open blabbering or the
aforementioned "b"-word. These days, being a strong, silent John Wayne- or Rambo-type is
not just a male thing. There are plenty of Rambettes out there.)
5. Don't Get Predictable. Keep information about the restructuring as vague and inconsistent
as possible. In fact, the more disinformation the better. A certain amount of uncertainty heightens
group competition and, hopefully, will disorient your best people and/or intimidate them from
leaving (until you think it's appropriate, especially if they may be a threat to your own tenured
6. Demonstrate Decisive Displacement. Have new managers rapidly fill some of the positions of
displaced managers, especially those managers who were well-respected; people don't need to dwell
morbidly on the past. On a more positive note, this transition-transfusion also provides a real
opportunity for new blood. (Of course, one hopes we are speaking figuratively here. You might want
to have escorts, though, for these new managers as they leave work.)
7. Instill the Spirit of Overload and Accommodation. Make sure middle managers and
supervisors appear to accept cheerfully "doing more with less," even if their employees
feel they are at the breaking point. Low morale, heightened staff tension and anger or, especially,
that self-serving term "burnout," are not sufficient counterindicators to "sucking it
up"; nor is psychobabble about psychosomatic, stress-induced illness acceptable. (Cardiac
arrest, however, continues to be grounds for excused leave.) Remember, a loyal master, I mean
manager, who selflessly takes on an ever expanding workload without renegotiating priorities and
time frames is a company icon. Such loyalty and dedication will surely inspire even surly
subordinates to met the plantation's, I mean organization's, new goals.
8. Consider Token Team Building. If absolutely necessary, allow a small matrix group to meet
sporadically to provide only positive ideas and buy-in for your ever evolving company vision (or is
it hallucination?; so often it's such a fine line). Eventually retire the group with gilded framed
team building certificates.
9. Create Social Diversions. Plan a company picnic, a Christmas dinner party, or some
diversionary event for your beleaguered, "survivor shock" employees. When not enough
people sign up (or refuse to contribute a potluck dish) send an e-mail saying how, because of lack
of employee interest, regretfully, the party had to be canceled. You can also organize a committee
to discover the reasons why people didn't sign up.
10. Retreat Reorganizationally from Reality. Avoid a sustained relationship with a consultant
trained in reorganizational crisis, conflict, loss and grief work as this intervention will surely
make things worse. You know because you once attended one of those touchy-feely retreats where they
even made people briefly hug one another. Or you heard about a workshop facilitator who used a
"let it all hang out" encounter group-like method on a law firm retreat with thirty
litigators. Big surprise...The workshop turned into a primal attack/scream session and people didn't
speak to one another for the next six months. (So the retreat was a wash; there probably had been
too much socializing on company time anyway. Or maybe it was just one of those retreats where people
took their vows of silence to heart.)
Of course, this consultant, from a well-known firm and with a prestigious degree, didn't have a
clue how to deal with intense psychological dynamics or group interaction, including disarming
predatory creatures. A true consulting superstar, however, will totally work out these basically
minor post-restructuring adjustment problems. In addition, such a stellar management coach, if you
act right away, should offer to place, on the same retreat, a big positive motivational bandage on
all pre-reorganizational crisis dysfunctional work relationships, at no extra cost. If you do
dismiss the retreat approach, there still is a safe, effective image enhancing option: send a couple
of key personnel on a 3-day "team building" workshop. Then you can answer
"affirmative" if anyone asks whether yours is a team-based operation.
In conclusion, if you or your executive management team has the courage and foresight to enact
one or more of these cutting edge strategies, please let me know. As a reorganizational consultant,
I certainly aspire to work with such a visionary, progressively "lean -and-MEAN" upper
management team. I understand loneliness at the top. And believe me, you'll need all the help you
Despite an opening rant on scandalous or shadowy corporate operations, the Stress Doc cautions
not to forget the survivors of the streamlinings and mergers. Part I of this two-part series focuses
on five micro and macro reorganizational strategies.
Five Macro and Micro Strategies for Post-Enron Reorganization
A Stress Doc Survival Guide
As the parade of corporate scandals increasingly lengthens, and the numbers on the sidelines
waving bye to their stock options, 401Ks, savings and livelihoods increases, let's try a positive
spin. Perhaps these CEOs were motivated less by criminal greed and more for the common good. It's
well known that Americans have a decided problem with obesity. Despite all the downsizing and
consolidating, rightsizing and frightsizing of the past and present, maybe the troops were still not
sufficiently "lean-and-mean." Well Enron and Arthur, World.com and Martha
With our wallets shrunk, if not our waistlines, I believe many of us now are finally "lean-and-MEAN."
Clearly, excessive money and power together, if they don't blatantly corrupt can readily corrode
values and ethics. I liken these criminal CEOs to addicted smokers sucking on and blowing up in
smoke company capital and personnel resources, destroying the corporate organs and the organization
while surreptitiously spreading their toxic second hand smoke. (In the boom daze, one must
acknowledge, many did not want to detect the smoke as a potentially destructive fire.) When top
management becomes a malignant corporate cancer we know the predictable therapeutic procedure for
lowering costs and conserving cash: cut out or reduce excess - employees, human resources, research
and training, all the soft stuff - that is, "do more with less" and "work
smarter" to balance (or is it cook?) the books so that the corpus can "survive."
Balancing a Psychological and Economic Perspective
Okay, now that I've had a chance to rant, I'll also try to put this issue in a more objective
perspective. First of all, one must acknowledge the "irrational exuberance" for easy
wealth/stock options for many caught up in the web of Internet and telecom crazes. And with this
"boldness" as Washington Post columnist, Robert Samuelson, noted, the inevitable byproduct
is "waste and overinvestment
(It's not simply) get rid of the bad guys, and the good guys can
win. The hyperactive stock market of the late 1990s encouraged looser ethics - speculative trading,
the overuse of stock options, misleading accounting."
Still, high-achieving CEOs often climb the corporate ladder of success because they bend and
rationalize the rules: remember the mantra, "Greed is good"? Of course, there can be a
fine line between bending and breaking. Also, these individuals know they are not just unique, they
also deserving. Such Type A+ types wear superman and superwoman capes (with dollar signs, I'd
imagine) under their power suits. This undergarment description of the top execs at American Express
coming from a somewhat amazed, somewhat wary in-house health nurse. If you are dealing with
oversized egos, with a righteous belief in their power to soar over mere mortal limitations or
convinced they can have teflonic powers when it comes to illicit behavior and negative consequences
you have someone like Martha Stewart seemingly getting caught in an insider-trading scheme over a
sum of money which, for her, was relatively trivial. (This is not unlike Nixon trying to get extra
dirt on his Democratic opponents with the Watergate break-in even though he likely had the '72
election in the bag. The motivation is not just paranoia, but also arrogance and a driving thirst
Of course, not all organizations are consumed by fraudulent malignancy and narcissistic personae;
sometimes streamlining is done to survive an industry-wide economic downturn spurred by global
factors; sometimes it occurs for a quick though often-shortsighted boost to the bottom line. (Not
unlike yo-yoing weight reduction regimens, that is, shooting for a quick fix with a diet pill or
supplement but not integrating healthy eating and regular exercise. Guess I wasn't quite ready to
stop the rant. ;-) While it's easy to get worked up about the use of corporate funds in the millions
to purchase art (and not pay taxes) let's not get totally sidetracked. More commonly, redundancy,
inefficiency and ill-advised capital investment, or outrageously expensive corporate dinners and
corporate game rooms clearly warrant some streamlining and doing more with a little (or a lot) less.
Still, let me share some historical perspective as an Organizational Development Consultant:
throughout the '90s and our economically erratic new millennium, reorganizing, if not consolidating
or downsizing, have been fairly constant refrains for much of the American workforce.
And whatever the economic context - whether global or criminal, irrational exuberance or plain
mismanagement - or whether involved in a merger or reduction in force we still have employees and
the organization as a whole in serious need of assistance during this turbulent transition. So
strategies and steps for reorganizational survival are critical if productivity, coordination and
morale are to eventually rebound. And one of the most important survival structures for repairing
the doubt and disconnect between individual and organization, between employees and management is
the work team.
Part I of this series will focus on five systemic and individual survival elements. While more
oversight in the corporate boardroom is needed, for example, some advocate making sure the CEO is
not the Chairman of the Board, and that the latter have genuine scrutiny over the former, Part II
focuses more on the relationship between top management, supervisors and employees. The article
lists five strategies that illuminate how the team can become the nucleus for grieving and healing
and the rebuilding of trust by: a) recognizing the loss of key personnel and integrating new team
players, practices, emotional processing, etc., b) developing a more inclusive team decision-making
process, c) coordinating new or modified working relationships in teams and departments and d) and
interconnecting departments and divisions throughout the organization so all have a better sense of
and commitment to the newly evolving big picture.
System-Element Survival Strategies
Let's begin with five macro-micro problem setting and strategies; some begin in anticipation (or
in denial) of an impending restructuring:
1. Recognizing Reorganizational Uncertainty. With an organizational climate of mistrust, it
may be difficult for all the worker munchkins and low- and mid-level managers at OZ Corp. to know
what degree of control the highest execs, like the Wizard, actually have and what's just
reorganizational smoke and mirrors. Based on consulting experience, I'm aware of so many external
factors, for example, Congress for federal agencies, IT closings and the loss of the tax revenue
base for state governments, or globalization issues for corporations, etc., that cloud the
reorganizational picture of who's the real captain of the company ship when navigating such
In this amorphous, uncertain and doubting environment, some employees don't want to focus on
precarious possibilities; they shut down critical thinking or, even, push themselves to exhaustion.
They work harder and harder to prove their "essential" status. Others, feeling like
"pawns" try to battle their anxiety and sense of helplessness while establishing some
control by cranking up the old mill. Not surprisingly, in this shadowy climate, with the fear of
losing jobs or work hours, the rumor mill often goes into overtime.
Those at the top often make two mistakes, one an error of omission, the other of commission.
First, management often does not institute workshops on loss and change that would formally allow
employees and supervisors to vent about and better grapple with current conditions. The second
error, though not always pre-meditated, is passing along information not grounded in first-hand
observation or fact. While this sharing is meant to be reassuring (not simply for defusing anger
toward management; let's not be cynical) or at least to help other's see the glass as half empty and
half full, such information only fuels rumor-mongering. This is akin to a visually ambiguous
projection test triggering multiple interpretations by viewers. Also, some staff may think that by
sharing such fanciful information, management takes employees for fools.
What is clear is that these mistakes and missed opportunities can ravage long-term trust and
loyalty. When it comes to transmission, better for key decision-makers and information gatekeepers
to share less but more substantive data. This directive holds even if the only honest and
affirmative statement is, "At this time, I don't know what's going on or what this really
means." Truth in reorganizing should not be as dubious as truth in advertising!
2. Being Down and (Breaking) Out. In the early '90s restructuring rumors were flying at the
US Postal Service, especially at headquarters and nearby facilities in the Metro-DC area. Still the
prevailing attitude was: "We are always going through changes (in operation). No big
deal." Alas, what was not foreseen was that Carvin Marvin Runyon was brought in wielding a
decidedly "cutting edge" Postmaster General axe. Nationwide, within a year, troop size was
reduced by 50,000.
Two categories of employees seemed to survive best the tumultuous transition:
a) the kick-started entrepreneur. I recall one employee declaring he could no longer put
all his financial and career security eggs in the postal basket. He had been contemplating starting
his own seafood business for years, while doing nothing tangible. Now he was definitely pissed and,
perhaps, soon to be RIFfed Off (RIF = Reduction In Force). While not planning to leave the USPS
presently, the downsizing was a "kick in the butt" to disprove that his entrepreneurial
vision was not just a hallucination.
b) the back to schooler. Another group of folks who saw the opportunity in problems rather
than a problem of reduced opportunity were those who decided to go outside for schooling or for
additional in-house training. These steps would make them more marketable, provide more flexibility
for landing on their feet when the downsizing dust settled
whether inside or out of the Postal
Service. (As an aside, while writing the first draft of this article at Teaism, my tea house
sanctuary, a fellow at the next table mentioned that in a company downsizing, one person wrangled a
leave of absence to work on a novel. In general, I wouldn't count on this option.)
3. Setting Boundaries. For the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), already beset by multiple
downsizings in the last few years, post-9/11 has meant you "do even more with less."
During a recent Practice Safe Stress Program with the DIA, I was emphasizing the importance of
"N & N" - the ability to say "NO" and to "Negotiate" - in light of
how "burnout is less a sign of failure and more that we give ourselves away." A mature
woman interrupts, challenging my philosophy: "My boss doesn't want to discuss priorities and
time factors; he just wants it when he wants it!" The woman briefly listed various ways she's
tried to reason with or please her supervisor
Intently outlining the burnout stages, I was taken aback be her mid-stage declaration. Suddenly,
out of the murmuring void, a voice of clarity. A woman, perhaps in her 50s, with years at the
agency, said, "I used to have this problem, trying to please my boss; staying till seven or
eight almost every night. Eventually, I started getting sick." This wakeup call led to: a)
pushing aside her reservations about standing up to authority and b) a serious "N & N"
with her supervisor. The result: more control of her work schedule, less stress and improved health,
not to mention greater confidence and self-esteem. I affirmed the survival wisdom. The
extra-ordinary (occasionally staying till eight or coming in on a weekend; unless you choose to do
so more frequently) must not become the ordinary (or routinely expected).
4. Seeking Outside Help. If that problematic boss won't listen to reason, think outside the
one-on-one or department box:
a) EAP as Employee Ally. Talk to an Employee Assistance Program counselor or seek private
counseling or coaching. The EAP option has several advantages: 1) with your permission, an EAP
counselor can speak to your supervisor. This counselor can also facilitate conflict mediation
between the antagonistic parties, 2) if discovering that you are not the only disaffected team
member, the counselor can suggest a team meeting with the supervisor, with or without an EAP
presence. (Several employees from a team or department using EAP services will eventually get
management's attention, especially when going on company time.) If the level of trust and degree of
openness between employees and a supervisor is compromised, outside facilitation is needed.
b) Call on OD Consultant. Sometimes Human Resources or, even, the EAP (often for
confidentiality reasons) will recommend an outside consultant/facilitator. Another consideration is
having an "objective" third party with no employment ties to the organization, that is,
not simply a (perceived) management mouthpiece. Separate identity and sense of integrity are vital
in this intervention role. (The Stress Doc is tested, rested and ready to roll. His motto:
"Have Stress? Will Travel: A Smart Mouth for Hire!")
c) EAP/Consultant as Supervisor Ally. Finally, supervisors need to use the EAP not simply
as a referral option for troubled or troublesome individuals. The best supervisors are those who
seek out the EAP Counselor (or an EAP- or HR-referred consultant) for approaches in handling a
difficult employee or complex team issue. The worst response by a supervisor is denying or
downplaying the adverse effects of a slacker on his or her colleagues. Simply encouraging or
expecting others to ignore a "stress carrier" heightens team members' anger and anxiety.
("Will this carrier explode or implode? Will I be hurt by the fallout?" Will a borderline
employee have the chance pull a knife on a new supervisor partly because the supervisor's boss
downplayed the violence potential of the employee?) Now both dysfunctional employee and
dysfunctional supervisor become a tumor, inevitably eroding morale and productivity of the unit.
5. Following the Way of the Acronyms. Consider these two acronyms to bolster survival
capacity during these trying transitional times:
a) Balancing The Triple "A". To affirm an employee's sense of professionalism
and sense of responsibility, blend "The Triple 'A': Authority, Autonomy and
Accountability." Management must recognize and support an employee's utilization of skills and
knowledge, and the desire to have input in relevant decision-making ("Authority"). Workers
also want some control of their turf, time frames and operating procedures ("Autonomy").
At the same time, employees must accept the objective and timely review of their work performance.
Alas, with all the "Accountability" scandals at the top, I wonder if employees, in
noticeable numbers, will start challenging a manager's right to one-dimensionally grade their work
quality and quantity.
b) Investing in Organizational IRAs. When people are chronically doing more with less,
don't assume they will be (or should be) grateful having a job in a tight economy. A management team
that's concerned about motivation and loyalty or, at least, about the longevity of workplace
survivors, makes sure people can earn those IRAs: Incentives, Recognition & Rewards and
Advancement Opportunities, including opportunity for needed and desired training.
Part I has identified five macro-micro, organizational-individual strategies and structures for
broadly managing the shock and subsequent fallout of a disruptive reorganization. These are: 1)
Accepting Reorganizational Uncertainty, 2) Being Down and (Breaking) Out, 3) Setting Boundaries, 4)
Seeking Outside Help and 5) Following the Way of the Acronyms. Part II will enumerate five specific
team interventions for rebuilding and bonding within the team or departments and for subsystems
across the organization as a whole. Hopefully, Parts I and II will heal wounds and regenerate
individual, team and organizational energy and spirit while enabling all to
REMAINING U.S. CEOs MAKE A BREAK FOR IT-
Band of Roving Chief Executives Spotted Miles from Mexican Border. San Antonio, Texas (Rooters
Unwilling to wait for their eventual indictments, the 10,000 remaining CEOs
of public U.S. companies made a break for it yesterday, heading for the Mexican border,
plundering towns and villages along the way, and writing the entire rampage off as a marketing
"They came into my home, made me pay for my own TV, then double-booked the
revenues," said Rachel Sanchez of Las Cruces, just north of El Paso. "Right in front of
Calling themselves the CEOnistas, the chief executives were first spotted last night along the
Rio Grande River near Quemado, where they bought each of the town's 320 residents by borrowing
against pension fund gains. By late this morning, the CEOnistas had arbitrarily inflated Quemado's
population to 960, and declared a 200 percent profit for the fiscal second quarter.
This morning, the outlaws bought the city of Waco, transferred its under-performing areas to a
private partnership, and sent a bill to California for $4.5 billion.
Law enforcement officials and disgruntled shareholders riding posse were noticeably frustrated.
"First of all, they're very hard to find because they always stand behind
their numbers, and the numbers keep shifting," said posse spokesman Dean Levitt. "And
every time we yell 'Stop in the name of the shareholders!', they refer us to investor relations.
I've been on the phone all damn morning."
"YOU'LL NEVER AUDIT ME ALIVE!"
The pursuers said they have had some success, however, by preying on a common executive weakness.
"Last night we caught about 24 of them by disguising one of our female officers as a CNBC
anchor," said U.S. Border Patrol spokesperson Janet Lewis. "It was like moths to a
Also, teams of agents have been using high-powered listening devices to scan the plains for
telltale sounds of the CEOnistas. "Most of the time we just hear leaves rustling or cattle
flicking their tails," said Lewis, "but occasionally we'll pick up someone saying, 'I was
totally out of the loop on that.'"
So far, about 50 chief executives have been captured, including Martha Stewart, who was detained
south of El Paso where she had cut through a barbed-wire fence at the Zaragosa border crossing off
"She would have gotten away, but she was stopping motorists to ask for marzipan and food
coloring so she could make edible snowman place settings, using the cut pieces of wire for the
arms," said Border Patrol officer Jennette Cushing. "We put her in cell No. 7, because the
morning sun really adds texture to the stucco walls."
While some stragglers are believed to have successfully crossed into Mexico,
Cushing said the bulk of the CEOnistas have holed themselves up at the Alamo. "No, not the
fort, the car rental place at the airport," she said. "They're rotating all the tires on
the minivans and accounting for each change as a sales event."
Mark Gorkin, LICSW, "The Stress Doc" , an international speaker and syndicated
writer, is America Online's "Online Psychohumorist" The Doc runs his weekly
"Shrink Rap and Group Chat" on AOL/Digital City DC Stress Chat . See his award-winning,
USA Today Online "HotSite" -- www.stressdoc.com Stress Doc homepage (recently sited as
"comforting" resource in a National Public Radio feature on "Bad Bosses"). Email
for his monthly newsletter recently showcased on List-a-Day.com. For more info on the Doc's
"Practice Safe Stress" programs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-232-8662.
(c) Mark Gorkin 2002
Shrink Rap Productions