Wednesday, August 12, 2015

1st Year Anniversary - Robin Williams & WoW

Many years ago, actually, the day the game came out, I bought the collector's edition (it had a cool pet!!) and started playing, leaving the world of EQ behind.  Video games have always been fun, an escapism.

As the years came, I started traveling overseas but still played to keep in touch with my son.  We would log on (he at 4 PM in the afternoon, me a 5AM in the morning, generally in the Philippines).  He and I could chat about the day, talk about homework and my parents who nannied for me.

In 2007, I told my very public company to restate their financial reports to the SEC because as the VP of Internal Audit, that was my obligation to investors and to the other company stakeholders.  It was not a decision I arrived at easily.

Quarters before I arrived, the company had made some very poor investment decisions, and then worsened them by putting people in place without the skill set to manage a new IPO and a new acquisition under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.  They'd had to tell the Street that they had a material weakness.

What they didn't tell the street is that had several according to their Auditors, PWC, but decided to hide them under an overarching umbrella called, "not enough people and resources to adequately fulfill the requirements" and called it a day.

I started fully aware of the material weakness.  In my past roles, I'd been the one in charge of fixing those for clients of mine who were pre-IPO or pre-divestiture.

Anyway, after telling my CFO that I thought between two plausible options in the face of the latest debacle in accounting, the right thing to do was restate.

Prior to that, I'd been the top of the crop.  People asked to join my team, the team I'd built across the planet in this country and in others.  People asked for me to take interns to teach them how to lead and how to manage.

After talking to the CFO, I was fired.  And my life eroded.  The rest of the story about that time of my life is buried in the blog, one only needs to go back to 2008 or 2009 or 2010.  The despair and agony was horrific.

I still played WoW. I still paid my $15 a month to play, to escape, to laugh, to fish and to cry.  In the solace of my home, I could escape the realities of what was transpiring.

One particular night, trade chat - home of the best trolls in the world - was in full force.  Acerbic, if not hilarious; pointed, and also true.  On that one solitary night ... a human priest named Jett started picking on me, unknowing that I was sitting under my desk in terror as flashlights went around my house, peered into windows.

Terrorized.  And this human priest started in on me.

In private, I wrote him and asked him to stop.  He kept on for a few seconds until I finally told him, I was in tears and terrified of what was transpiring in my life.

The tone changed.  He asked what he could do.  Said he had people who could help, that he himself was wealthy and would do what he could; even if that meant saving my home.  I declined but thanked him.  In game we always hear stories about how someone is the this-or-that of some big company and can help a guild mate out with this-or-that and largely, they are lies.

As I type this now, my eyes are welling up.  Because I know that most of you who read this will think it's untrue, but those who know me in RL, also know I don't lie.

Jett and I talked for probably an hour.  I asked him how he liked LA, told him I had friends out there associated with Columbia (my friend was the former EVP Legal of Sony) and the stories went on.  Terrified to laughter and I'd made an in-game friend for life.

Every time he logged on, he'd say hi; we'd talk about my life and his.  He would talk about his kids and we'd share stories of having teenagers.  I never really knew what he did for a living, we never talked about that.  We talked about places we'd been, cultures, movies and music.  Normal things.

Eventually, my life turned around.  I got a job.  Stopped living with centipedes crawling on me and moved to FL.

Last summer, a year ago yesterday, those conversations stopped forever.

To many he was the beloved character they knew from the movies, and the TV shows.  Mork, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, and the list goes on and on and on... and who can forget Patch.

Robin played Jett.  I did not know that until last year and never knew it was him.  The rumors of course swirled that many celebrities played on our server but Robin?  Yeah.  Never dawned on me.

Robin probably saved me all those years ago.  Talked to me in the darkest of nights when I did not know how I would wake in the morning to face the day.  Robin made me laugh in private chats and in public trade.  He'd poke fun at me - gently - and encourage me to pursue my dream.

I don't really remember the last time we talked, I wish I could.  I wish I could tell him what he did for me in 2009 and 2010.  I wish I could tell him how much ... we all miss him in /2 and in life.

Yesterday, I did the only thing I could.  Pay tribute to him in game and say a quiet thank you.

RIP My Captain, Our Jett, The World's Robin

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