I was alone in what had been our petroleum marketing headquarters in the penthouse of a high-rise building in downtown Houston. It was getting dark outside, and only the muted sound of Christmas music broke the silence. Our once-busy offices were eerily empty, and there was no one left to talk to. The start-up excitement that used to fill the air was gone.
We had been acquired, and I had been told that I might have a job, not yet specified, if I moved our young family 1,200 miles to an oil company headquarters in a northern state. In the meantime, my assignment was to clear everything out, terminate the lease and close this office by the end of the year. It was depressing, to say the least.