Among financial journalists Bess Levin is sui generis. As editor of Dealbreaker.com she offers up a continuous stream of ribald commentary about the comings and goings of the major players in business and finance.
Most often her comments hit their mark. On rare occasions they go awry.
Yesterday, commenting on recently deposed Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, Levin decided to make a sly mockery of Thain's daily regimen. Link here.
That regimen was well described in the Wall Street Journal: "Now he [Thain] spends his time networking, and says he is optimistic that he will get another chance to run a publicly traded company. He still puts on a suit every day, even though he no longer has an office to go to."
About which Levin, straddling the thin line between irony and sarcasm, grasped the meaning: Thain was not adjusting well to his new role as househusband. Then she added that he was "choosing to cling to a (professional) life that no longer exists."
From there Levin happily shared her reverie of Thain, decked out in his bespoke duds, taking command of a gaggle of stuffed animals. I will spare you the details.
At the risk of sounding like a killjoy, I will offer a small qualification. When you have been laid off, it is generally a good idea to act as though you are still working. Even if that means putting on a suit and tie in the morning.
It is better to dress for where you are going than for where you are.
And when your reputation has been as badly damaged as Thain's has, you can start recovering it by comporting yourself with dignity and decorum.
Would Thain do better to sulk around the house in his pajamas bemoaning his fate? I think not.