EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Over the past few years I have had the great pleasure of reconnecting with three very old friends. Not only have I known them each for a long time, but like me, they are getting old.

You would think that since all roads lead to Matt Bud, I would long ago have reconnected with everyone I ever knew from my over 50 year career, but I guess like the law of the last typo, there is always one more. And, it is always a pleasant surprise.

As I moved from company to company before Al Gore invented the Internet, I wasn’t always able to stay in touch with those I knew and enjoyed working with. Try as I might, especially after I stopped working in New York City, it was very hard to make lunch dates. Sure there was the phone, and I did make lots of phone calls as time permitted, but it was never enough.

Since most of my friends from the world of work were financial types, my Chairmanship of The FENG has enabled me to receive those remarkable phone calls. As we count up the years, it is truly an amazing experience. Like long lost relatives, the conversation pretty much picks up where it left off, just like nothing happened.

As each of you go about your involvement in The FENG, I do hope that from time to time you will utilize our Member Directory Search feature and look for old friends. If you have been a member for a while and haven’t played what we could call “friend solitaire,” please do so as your schedule permits. Chances are some of your old friends joined and were announced in our new member distribution, but given that your eyes are going, you missed them.

Friend Solitaire is easy to play. Our Member Directory Search feature is very easy to use. All you have to do is put in the names of all the firms where you have ever worked and all the name variations that they have used over the years and have at it. The box you want to use is at the top of the form and is titled: Work & Education History.

The next step in your compulsively well-organized approach to life is to start down the list and make phone calls or send emails. A short email to each of the folks whose lives you would like to reenter might be a good idea. While many of us have short term memory problems these days, our long term memories work pretty good, but it might take a few seconds to make the connection. You don’t want to embarrass yourself or them, so perhaps this is the best approach.

The years may have gone by, but the memories haven’t faded away totally. Hopefully only the bad times can no longer be recalled. What might be surprising is that even old “enemies” will be thrilled to hear from you. As you may recall from the final scenes of the Godfather, disagreements at work were about business. They typically weren’t really personal. They may have felt personal, but the other person was only trying to do what he/she thought was best for the company. They probably didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. (After all, how were they to know you were so sensitive?)

For those of you who actually do this, I would be delighted to publish your stories about the joys of reconnecting with old friends.

Enjoy.

Regards, Matt

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