She’s in Costco but this is not her turf. You can tell by the details of her outfit that she’s not your usual Costco shopper. She’s a big business mucky muck, someone you don’t want to cross.
Some business tycoons like her seek escape from angry board members pressing her to step down, or fitfulness over the timing of clandestine details of corporate takeovers and sneaky acquisitions that she specializes in by going to seedy dive bars or back to their old neighborhoods where they were considered nobodies. That’s where they get some temporary relief from the demands of their high-risk positions.
I’ve seen her face in magazines, usually blurred by the bodyguards that surround her. She’s a fan of plaid. You never see much of her face in photos but she’s always wearing plaid. Today she tries to camouflage her trademark plaid jacket with a floral print scarf. But I still know it’s her.
She’s got a high tolerance for risky business. She’s never found an angle she couldn’t work. She’s addicted to the high of pouncing on weaker CEOs and taking their business right out from underneath them.
Common tactics? Know the CEOs weaknesses. Wait for his breaking point when he flies off to Bermuda and gets out of cell range.
She’s got multiple talents. Before being the plaid queen of takeovers she was a meteorologist. She’s tracking a storm system right now. Others say that Hurricane Lizzie will peter out before hitting Bermuda but she knows it won’t. There’s going to be enough damage to the coastlines up and down the island that all Internet will be down for at least three days.
That billion dollar company will be hers within 72 hours.
She’s prepared for everything. Her over the shoulder bag carries two cell phones and three burner phones. You never know when you’ll need that third burner phone. Well, actually you do. It’s when you’ve used two already.
With time to spare, she’s where she wants to be: Costco. She’s driven her eggplant colored Tesla with the black out windows from San Jose to Novato, about a two hour drive.
Finding calm in Costco
I can understand why she does it. It’s like a meditation for her: Enter a large cavernous building with glaring overhead lighting; push a cart down long cement aisles where umbrellas meet lawn furniture and frozen scallops lead to gallons of olive oil.
I watch her. This is the first time I’ve seen her in person. She hovers around the Post-its. She takes a collection of them off a shelf and thinks about all the ideas she can capture using the hot pink, teal, and gold sticky Post-its.
Next she’s examining a safe. She needs another one for her office so she can hide the secret documents she’s stolen from the victims of her next big deal.
Then she heads over to the paper towels. When she takes over this company that’s going down in Bermuda, she’ll toss a roll of paper towels to each member of the Board of Directors in San Jose. “Here, use these to wipe up your river of tears,” she’ll say smugly.
“Mom! I finally found you!”
“Oh! Hi, Erin. No safe for your jewelry?”
“No, not the right size. I’ll keep looking. But the store needs paper towels and we can always use more Post-Its. Did you find anything?”
“Yup, some scallops, an umbrella and some flowers. Ready for the checkout line?”
“I don’t know. Should I buy these crackers?”
“That’s a lot of crackers! By the way, I love this outfit on you.”
“Really? You like my outfit?”
“Absolutely! Great color blending, Honey. I love how this plaid jacket has all that blue in it and relates to your indigo jeans.”
“Gee, thanks Mom.”
“Is that my scarf you’re wearing?”
“M-o-m! You gave it to me, remember?”
“No, I don’t but oh well, it looks fabulous with your jacket. Did you realize your patch pockets look like the same color as your bag?”
“Yes, Mom, I did. I am your daughter, remember that?”
“Yes I do, Dear. Let’s get out of here, okay?”
“Ya, I’m meeting Molly in the City.”
“Oh, be sure to her I say hi.”