Chh, chh, changes

I’m getting ready to drop a deuce into my boss’s coffee.

I received and accepted an offer to be poached by another department within Mayhew Insurance last night.  The position will move me from the plumber side of the business to the architecture and “concept” side of the company as the dreamers realized that they need to know how things actually work when they propose schemes. I’ve worked with the dreamers before, usually solving some of their problems or giving them the amazingly fun “Yes, we can do that, BUT it will cost $10 million dollars, take eighteen months and have a negative ROI… do you really want to do this…” conversation They’re raiding the practical divisions within the company to build an “engineering feasibility” section. 

I’ve never had a significant internal transfer in my career.  Everything was either external moves to new companies, lay-offs and new hires, or minor reorganizations where I’m reporting to someone else who had a pre-exisiting team.  I’m a little nervous as I’ve worked with this basic team for a significant chunk of my career and they are good people who are doing interesting things with adequate resources most of the time.  I know that is a good situation.  But the dreamers are offering a massive opportuntiy, a much better salary and a nicer title as well as the much higher probability that I won’t be called on to work 80 hour weeks for the four months leading up to filing season.

I don’t anticipate this having too much impact on my writing at Balloon Juice.  I will still be writing when I am not on a crash project deadline and when I see something interesting that I can add a high value, unique perspective to it, I’ll write.

I’m just happily nervous right now… and away I go as my boss just walked in.

94 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I don’t anticipate this having too much impact on my writing at Balloon Juice.


  2. 2
    Betty Cracker says:

    Best of luck to you, Richard. It sounds like an exciting opportunity.

  3. 3
    PurpleGirl says:

    Congratulations and best wishes on the new position. It sounds good.

  4. 4
    Chris says:

    Good luck, good sir.

  5. 5
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:


  6. 6

    Congratulations and mazel tov.

  7. 7
    SuperHrefna says:

    Congratulations, and I hope it all goes smoothly for you!

  8. 8
    Xantar says:

    So you mean contrary to what m_c was saying, you aren’t in fact a CEO one percenter neoliberal apologist?

  9. 9
    Barry says:


    I’m in the same position (been in the same job for almost 10 years, with the only change being a reorg to a new department).

  10. 10
    qwerty42 says:

    Best wishes, Richard.

  11. 11
    OzarkHillbilly says:


  12. 12
    Central Planning says:

    Congrats and good luck! I work for a company that encourages movement, and they are always reorganizing (in fact, we’re about to go back to the organization we had 2 years ago. I guess the brilliant reorg wasn’t so brilliant after all)

  13. 13
    Josie says:

    Congratulations. With your knowledge and attention to detail, you are exactly what the dreamers need.

  14. 14
    Tinare says:

    Congrats — hope it is a great move for you and the start of even better things!

  15. 15
    Elizabelle says:

    Congratulations! Any department at Mayhew Insurance is lucky to have you. Hope you enjoy the new work.

    Glad you can keep up the posting.

  16. 16
    rikyrah says:


  17. 17
    JPL says:

    Richard, Good luck to you in your new position. I’m sure that with your knowledge, the new department will thrive.

  18. 18
    Randy P says:

    There is only one question that matters in internal moves: does your new cubicle have a window or other perks? (shelf space is always nice)

  19. 19
    Violet says:


  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    This sounds like a great move for you, Richard. Congratulations to you — and to your company! Glad you will still be around and posting.

  21. 21
    Randy P says:

    Seriously, I’d like to add my congratulations to the rest. I would have edited my original comment to do that but FYWP won’t edit on the phone. At least not today.

  22. 22
    Trinity says:

    Richard you are a treasure. I am so grateful for your posts here. Best of luck!!

  23. 23
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Congratulations, Richard! Nice to see someone who thinks about their work and who cares about it get ahead.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    demit says:

    Eww to your first sentence.

  26. 26
    raven says:

    My last internal move was from a cube to my house. . .11 years ago!

  27. 27
    Cephalus Max says:

    Congrats and have fun!

  28. 28
    Just One More Canuck says:

    It’s all good, as long as it doesn’t take time away from soccer

  29. 29
    Barry says:

    @Barry: I got error mesages when trying to post that comment from an iPad. Also, the form was wierdly formatted.

  30. 30
    amk says:

    Congrats and best wishes.

    It always nice to be in demand.

  31. 31
    MomSense says:

    Congratulations, Richard!! Selfishly, I do hope you will have the time and interest to keep posting here. It has been invaluable information for all of us.

  32. 32
    Jamey says:

    You’re the second person in as many days who’s thought of taking a dump on the boss’s desk on the way out to another gig. Must be something in the water … or coffee.

  33. 33
    Jado says:

    I hope you recover quickly from the beating and stabbing you get from your boss – bosses hate to have competent workers leave.

  34. 34
    Belafon says:

    Tell your boss your posts here are a PSA. That you’re trying to help people like insurance companies.

  35. 35
    PST says:

    Everyone else has said it already, but it can’t be said too many times. Richard, your writing here has been incredibly helpful to my understanding of the PPACA, a subject on which so much misinformation exists that even its friends get things wrong all the time. Thank you and please keep it up.

  36. 36
    PaulW says:

    To dreeeeeeeeeaaaaaammmmmmm… the impossible dreeeeeeeeeaaaammmmmm….

  37. 37
    MazeDancer says:

    Wonderful news. Your writing at BJ has brought such clarity and understanding to so many. May those exceptional skills aid both the dreamers and you in great professional expansion as well.

  38. 38
    big ole hound says:

    Yeah, what’s with the “deuce in his coffee”, I’d fire you on the spot and it makes me wonder about anything else you’ve written. Why do you think you boss doesn’t read this blog?

  39. 39
    HinTN says:

    Richard, it’s wonderful how I just got the joke. Good luck in the new position!

  40. 40
    lurker dean says:


  41. 41
    JGabriel says:

    Congrats, Richard!

    … Although, it’s been an hour and a half since you left to tell your boss and we still haven’t heard back from you.

    Should we be worried?

    Your boss didn’t kill you in a jealous of betrayal, did s/he? I hope you don’t have one of those Republican bosses who open carry to the office.

    Let us know how it went with your boss, lest we imagine the worst – as we Juicers are wont to do.

  42. 42
    JCJ says:

    Did your posts here at balloon-juice help with the new job? Or more likely the new job is despite being associated with this snarling pack of vitriolic jackals.

  43. 43
    Kristine says:

    Congrats! And as someone who used to work for a company where marketing would sell virtual products at trade shows and *then* come back and tell Product Development to make them…thank you.

  44. 44
    ruemara says:

    Congratulations! And may I have such a happy moment soon.

  45. 45
    Belafon says:

    @JCJ: We’re probably a curse: “Richard, I see you are able to communicate with the idiots at Balloon Juice. You should easily be able to handle the new work we have for you.”

  46. 46
    Citizen_X says:

    @big ole hound:

    I’d fire you on the spot

    Right after he quits? That’s effective.

  47. 47
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Congrats Richard! Hopefully you’ll continue with your nuggets of wisdom about the ACA on BJ despite moving on up.

  48. 48
    Barry says:

    @big ole hound: “Yeah, what’s with the “deuce in his coffee”, I’d fire you on the spot and it makes me wonder about anything else you’ve written. Why do you think you boss doesn’t read this blog? ”

  49. 49
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @big ole hound: Ever heard the expressions “turd in the punchbowl” or “pissed in your Cheerios”?

  50. 50
    Seanly says:


  51. 51
    Crusty Dem says:

    Kudos!! It makes me happy to see a company recognize internal talent and promote it, used to be standard behavior and is now noteworthy.

  52. 52
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Congratulations. Like Raven, my last internal move was to my home office. Which is mildly comical to describe given that I am the entire staff. It will be the final internal move in this organization as well, as our affiliate is being consolidated with a larger one by January. So I’m on the external hunt.

  53. 53
    dww44 says:

    Congratulations to an obviously deserving and very capable employee. Thankful you’re still going to be around here.

  54. 54
    mai naem says:

    Happy for you. If your writing here is any indication of your capabilities at your regular job, you’re obviously awesome at your job and deserve the promotion.

  55. 55

    This is one of those rare times when you get to see if your boss really thinks you were good or not. If he’s bummed, or better yet, pissed, then you were kicking ass.

    If he smiles and looks relieved, well…

  56. 56
    bryan says:

    @big ole hound:Just a metaphor for delivering bad news, I’m sure. Unlike the literal interpretation that I had at first, no doubt due to the fact that my 22-month old twins are currently in the habit of dropping deuces in the tub during bath time. Good times. And “Dropping Deuces” would be an awesome band name.

    ETA: Congratulations Richard!

  57. 57
    Manyakitty says:

    Congratulations on the well-deserved recognition!

  58. 58
    feebog says:

    Congrats Richard. Hope a hefty raise comes with it. Your posts at BJ have been extremely informative and educational. Keep up the writing.

  59. 59
    chopper says:

    @big ole hound:

    wow, an internet tight-ass.

  60. 60
    Origuy says:

    Congratuations, but a warning: internal transfers don’t get rid of your old job completely. Of course there’s a period of transition that you expect, but three years down the road, there’ll be a problem out of the blue that requires your help. At least that’s my experience in software development, where the person you trained to take over has left and you’re the only one who knows the code.

  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    Congratulations, Richard Mayhew. Hope your boss wasn’t too upset.

    Off-topic, but here’s some news that might be of interest to all here: Per TPM, the US Patent and Trademark Office has cancelled six Washington Redskins trademarks.

  62. 62
    Ash Can says:

    All the best!

  63. 63
    J R in WV says:

    Congrats, and best of luck in the new role. Interesting to get a new position with very different responsibilities in a company you know a lot about already. I never did tha… wait, I did. never mind.

    Actually it’s a lot of fun because you start with the knowledge you gained, instead of a new company with totally different important things to work on.

  64. 64
    flukebucket says:

    Best to you sir. You do a valuable service here.

    Since this is an Open Thread I have to ask if I am the only one that is just now seeing this shit?

    The horror starts at about 18:00 minutes in. What in the hell is going on in Texas?

  65. 65
    Belafon says:

    @Amir Khalid: That will be interesting. We should start selling gear with a potato in place of the head.

  66. 66
    japa21 says:

    Richard, congrats.

    And congrats to your company as well for recognizing talent and also recognizing the need to have people with actual expertise on the front lines to provide insight into future planning.

    My current position is such that we have people developing all kinds of important strategies who have no real experience at the level of those who will need to implement the strategies. As a result, we are being given things to do that we know won’t work, and then, by the time that filters up the chain, we get assigned new tasks which we also know won’t work. Mayhaps if they actually asked before setting it up, time and money would be saved.

  67. 67
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    It’s what’s always gone on in Texas and plenty of other states, these days it just gets a little more exposure.

  68. 68
    Bobby Thomson says:

    OT: Did anyone see that Hillary fed the RNC troll squirrel? Much better approach than her C&D letter to the people who made the satirical shirt. Her opposition is so inherently mockable that she needs to deal with them with humor instead of getting angry. I mean, she’s not Romney. She can do humor.

  69. 69
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Did anyone see that Hillary fed the RNC troll squirrel?

    What are you referring to?

  70. 70
    bago says:

    In which Dana Milbank yells at Politico.

  71. 71
    Betty Cracker says:


    They have armchairs on the West Coast, too.

    I don’t have much use for Milbank, but that was a sick burn! Whoa!

  72. 72
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Richard Mayhew, so how did it go?

  73. 73
    zeecube says:

    Congrats. If your Juice product is anything like your work product, I can see why you were poached. Here’s hoping the grass is indeed greener …

  74. 74
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Betty Cracker: And of course, what few “moderate” Republicans who are left in the GOP will wonder why Muslims who live in the United States won’t vote for them.

    Please proceed, gentlemen.

  75. 75

    Since this is an Open Thread I have to ask if I am the only one that is just now seeing this shit?

    The horror starts at about 18:00 minutes in. What in the hell is going on in Texas?

    @flukebucket: First time I saw something like this was in 1987 in San Diego, broadcast live on our local news. Guy had killed a cop during a raid. He was cuffed and lying still on the ground, some fine officer of the law calmly walked up to him and put four rounds in his head. Newsdroids said “well, thank God that’s over” and cut to something else.

    Cops have been executing people for a long fucking time.

  76. 76
    Elizabelle says:


    I didn’t know what “dropping a deuce” into coffee meant. I assumed it was poker-related ….

    This blog is so educational.

    ETA: Like that you don’t use pok*r in a comment.

    In moderation. Due to personal stupidity.

  77. 77
    Elizabelle says:

    In moderation. Due to personal stupidity.

    Used p o k e r in a response. D’oh.

    And still: congrats.

  78. 78
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Elizabelle: I sprung ya. Hmmm. I wonder if I would get moderated even though I have blog super powers? Let me test that: POKER! CASINO!

    ETA: I am unmoderatable! Yeehaw!

  79. 79
    kuvasz says:

    Ah, dreamers. Most companies have them at the top.

    In a prior incarnation as a technical vice president I sat through a marketing meeting with the corporate brain trust. The meeting was to discuss how the company could get into a new market. While the sales vice president spoke about the increase in sales if we entered the market and the president exclaiming how this would be good for the “bottom line” I asked the entire group if they had ever heard of Tenzing Norgay. Norgay, I stated, was the Sherpa guide who accompanied Edmund Hilary in his first ascent to the top of Mt. Everest.

    I continued, “when the two men had returned from the summit in triumph Hilary was asked what he was thinking about as he reached the top of the world atop Mt. Everest. Hilary mentioned that he felt exhilarated at the view and how proud he was for King, country, and the human spirit.”

    Then, they asked Tenzing Norgay about what he was thinking when he climbed to the top of Mt. Everest.

    Norgay replied: “How to get down.”

    I looked around the conference room and said, “you guys are like a bunch of Edmund Hilarys, and I’m Tenzing Norgay, and I’m the only one in this room who is going to have to figure out how to get down, so I expect to be a full participant in the discussions on how our corporate resources are allocated to do this project.”

    The moral of the story is that after that meeting the president came up to me and asked me what I needed to accomplish the project and I was allowed to hire two chemists within the month.

  80. 80
    WaterGirl says:

    @Betty Cracker: Just let us all have super powers, Betty, so we can talk about that game of cards. We promise we won’t abuse our super powers. :-)

  81. 81
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    ETA: I am unmoderatable! Yeehaw!

    Go ahead, lord it over us. :)

  82. 82
    Elizabelle says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Thank you much.

  83. 83
    Mary G says:

    Congratulations, Richard, That happened to me a couple of times when I was working, albeit wirhout the pay raise. It’s big fun to think of new things to try.

  84. 84
    Paul W. says:

    Congratulations, it sounds like it is going to be a good fit!

  85. 85
    ThalarctosMaritimus says:

    Congratulations! It sounds like an excellent opportunity.

    Wishing you all success and happiness in the new job.

  86. 86
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): the RNC has been shadowing her book tour with a furry in a squirrel suit and a sign about it being nuts to elect another Clinton. She walked up to him, chatted, and signed a book and gave it to him.

  87. 87
    StringOnAStick says:

    Congrats, Richard. You’ve done a better job than ANY news outlet of explaining the ACA, and I love you for it. I hope the salary increase was stupendous!

  88. 88
    Steeplejack says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Ah, thanks. Hadn’t seen anything about that.

  89. 89
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    I’m very late to the party, but congratulations! Like your namesake, may you walk into a new and interesting world.

  90. 90
    johnny aquitard says:

    Help us, the unhip, out here: Does dropping a deuce in your boss’ coffee mean you’re ready to shit in it, or just drop in 2 sugar cubes?

    Wait! You’re going to drop in 2 sugar cubes laced with the brown acid! Whoaaaa.

  91. 91

    @Betty Cracker: Say something about soci alism!

  92. 92
    Van says:

    Just wanted to say, you’re awesome and go for it!

  93. 93
    Travels with Charley says:

    Un lurking to say congratulations & keep up the great work! On all fronts. I’ve been learning/enjoying Balloon Juice since 2008 (gosh, what happened then!?) and I keep coming back for the truth, humor & community.

  94. 94
    Donut says:


    I know I’m late to the thread but congrats and I second what MomSense said. Your posts about ACA implementation have been really informative and you have a knack for making the mundane details about insurance interesting and accessible (I try to do this in my work, too, on the P&C side). I just hope you will still have time to post here.

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