Dan went to lunch with two former co-workers today, we'll call them "the guys." They both still work for the company Dan was with prior to his current job. We'll call it "O'Neal."
Dan was very happy the first few years he worked for O'Neal. He had an awesome boss, "Rob," who took good care of him - it was a mutual appreciation society. But alas, the company was sold and the new overlords insisted on implementing the protocols they were using at another company they owned, mucking it up for everybody, and then Dan clashed with the college-professor-full-of-theories GM the new overlords installed (which is bizarre, because Dan is such a laid-back, likable guy). Finally Dan had enough and left. Rob stayed and suffered, but we were both so fond of him that we've stayed in touch somewhat these past three years - Dan's had lunch with him periodically and they occasionally talk or email. The last company gossip was that the overlords were planning on moving the software/programming department to Florida.
Fast forward to today, lunchtime. Dan's talking with the guys about a backpacking trip, and the conversation eventually swings to work. Dan asks "So is it still looking like you're going to Florida?" The guys give each other a speculative look, then tell Dan that the overlords have finally realized that they were giving O'Neal short shrift, that O'Neal had been better before they mucked with it, and basically that almost everything had changed. Three times, they urged Dan to contact his old boss - Dan had actually been trying to set up a lunch date with him this week anyway. They seemed to imply Dan could be hired back easily. Dan said, "But the GM hates me." The guys just shrugged and said "He's really come around."
Dan's going to try to get Rob out to lunch on Friday or over to dinner on Thursday night. Nothing may come of it, but something might. It wouldn't get me out of Orange County, but I've come to peace with the thought that I might be stuck here forever.