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Best Forecast of My Life

              
"No one can forecast the economy with certainty"  Jamie Dimon

              
Every month public companies perform a ritual called forecasting. I used to do this for a number of years.
                
Companies act like if you tried hard enough, you will be able to forecast accurately.
                
But no one really can. You might get close a few times but really, it is crapshoot.
                
All you can do is keep your ears open, read a lot, have a logical reason for your prognostication. And be ready for the rare grand luck.

"Veronique, will you come see me in my office?"

Well, I guess my forecast was a little too out there. Last night I tried to do something different, something to lend context to our customer's behaviors. Oil prices had plummeted, causing an adverse domino reaction. Instead of doing the normal forecast explanation of revenue will be down because our client was cutting back on expenses, I decided to add a little more flavor.

But if my boss was having problems, and she is usually pretty open to new things, then maybe I had gone too far last night. Lately, there had been articles in Oil and Gas magazines about talks of mergers in the industry. One article I can ignore, but a couple? Something was going on and it caught my eye. So in my forecast I talked about the rumors of merger activity. But I did vacillate a little last night before sending the forecast.

And now a gnawing anxiety was starting to churn in my stomach. Okay, time to put on a smile and face the music.

Carolyn eyed me when I entered the office: "I got your forecast."

She proceeds to read aloud my email and when she got to the point where I start to talk about the rumored merger activity, she stops and looks at me, with raised eyebrows. I continue to smile stupidly. There was nothing for me to say.

As she turns back to continue reading the damning paragraph, the phone rings. It was a call from one of her managers based in Cleveland.

"Carolyn, you will never guess what happened. It is huge; it is all they can talk about this morning. There was a town hall this morning where they made the announcement. It's huge! BP is going to do a merger of equals with Amoco!"

Carolyn just looks at me and says "You're scaring me!" I'm doing a mental jig, yelling in my mind "Wahoooo!"

Talk about a great call. I've had a few forecasts where I would nail the revenue almost to the dollar for a couple of months in a row but this forecast was the best one.

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