Today is my last day at Gap Inc. I joined in September 1998 as a Senior Analyst in IT Internal Audit. My how things have changed. Technically, I should say that 're-joined'. I worked at the Gap store in Mesa, Arizona during graduate school. Earlier in 1998, Khakis Swing really got things rolling, and Gap posted monthly comps in the high 30?s nearly every month. I still have $48 stock options to prove how well things were going. The picture above was taken in November of 1998, but I don?t remember the reason for that picture. Someone had a digital camera, which were new and quite exotic. Its hard to imagine paying over $2,000 for a 250K pixel digital camera with a built-in floppy drive, but this was 1998.
My first week on the job I went to a Finance townhall that including a talent competition. Each of the teams was doing some kind of really bad, uninspired Khakis Swing parody, except the internal audit team, CAS. The CAS guys did a precisely choreographed re-creation of the final dance scene in the Full Monty, complete with Velcro break away khakis. Thankfully it being my first week, I wasn?t able to learn the dance in time and sat in the audience shocked like everyone else. Ask John McDermott about his performance. The following week I was staffed on a project in Puebla, Mexico for 6 months opening a Latin American sourcing hub. Building the new office was a monumental task. However, the building was toppled in a rare earthquake and the whole operation ended up in Miami.
The rest of the story is pretty uneventful, with notable exceptions like the time I spent living in New York or traveling the country to visit all distribution centers in one week.
The picture below was from Steve Brooks? going away party. Steve epitomized Good Times at Gap, and there were many. It was a great experience: I learned a lot, I met a lot of really great people and I enjoyed my 50% discount for almost 9 years. I have a closet full of mostly unworn apparel to prove it. Good times, good friends, good memories. Not so good stock options. Oh well. Next stop, Tokyo.