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It's a Deal
by Eric Miller

Diehl Dewer, Chief Negotiator for ITUP, Information Technology United Professionals, took a deep breath, opened the door, and walked into the cluttered office of Tory Maird Pitcher, Chief Negotiator for Digital Doings International, the world's leading mulitnational technology company.

"El Toro, how nice it would be to see you again. If you had road signs in here, perhaps I could negotiate my way far enough in to actually get you in my sight."

"Very funny, Dealer Man, just make sure you don't contract an injury by bumping into something sharp, like me."

"Sharp is not precise contract language, Matador," Diehl said smiling, as they embraced warmly.

"I get such a holiday feeling every time these contract negotiations come around, Diehl. Do you feel what I feel?"

"I feel like I'm stepping onto a carousel that will just go round and round until we both give up."

"Sounds like you're already planning on circling the wagons to make your last stand, my friend."

"Come now, Matador, we both know that where we stand depends on where we sit at the table."

"Yes, Dealer Man, and you, of course, will be sitting with the ITUPers, so entomologically speaking, you will be standing for the self-serving greed of the bugs you represent."

"And etymologically speaking, my dear Matador, greed is derived, as I'm sure you know, from the Greek word 'attanotia', which means 'stingy business owner with pockets stuffed with gold.' We are not bugs, but rather the bees in your hive producing the golden honey that makes business owners rich. Remember, when you get too confident, you get stung."

"I hear ITUPer stingers are pretty small, Dealer Man."

"Then, perhaps it's time for the owners to feel how much pain those little stingers can cause, Matador."

"Look, Diehl, with a name like mine, I know when someone's throwing bull."

"You would do well, my friend, to remember what usually happens to the bull in the ring!"

"Sometimes the bull wins, Diehl."

"The goal is for us both to walk out of the ring alive, my friend."

"But it's so much fun to disagree, isn't it?"

"Yeah, yeah. But we have to find that elusive common ground."

"Common ground? Oh you mean that place filled with landmines called concessions, don't you?"

"We will be glad to accept  your concessions, Matador."

"That's the problem, Dealer Man. You conveniently overlook that negotiations are all about give and take."

"So, what do you say we go to that great bar you discovered last time and start to choreograph our Kabuki dance."

"To hide our private friendship from public eyes will require some location management and dark corners."

"Well, Matador, the terms and conditions of locale for me are to have aesthetic relief in the background. You're not the prettiest face to sit across from. How about Lola's?  It has the best looking waitresses."

"It's a deal, Diehl. How about a Scotch?"

"As long as you take the first sip, and as long as it doesn't scotch the deal."