January 21, 2002
Enron Employees Auctioning Their Stuff
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You've lost your job, your pension, your 401(k) nestegg, and all hope that your company stock will ever be worth anything ever again. So what's an Enron refugee to do?
Auction your stuff on EBay, of course.
"I had all this stuff sitting around that the company had given out - paperweights, Christmas ornaments, Swiss Army knives, golf shirts - all with the Enron logo on it," said Kim Zachary, who had worked in marketing for Enron for nine years and was only three months away from qualifying for her pension when the company went bust. "I thought maybe I could make something off of them. I had bills to pay."
As of Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports, Zachary had made $2,000 (about twice her monthly unemployment check) by selling more than 40 items on EBay. That won't make up for the nearly $12,000 she lost in stock when Enron's market value tanked, but it helps.
According to the Times, the Enron train wreck has sparked a nationwide hunt for even the most trivial trinket connected with the bankrupt energy-trading firm. More than 600 Enron items have made it onto EBay since the scandal erupted.
Among the most popular are copies of the Enron "Code of Ethics." The bidding had reached $225 late Thursday. One copy was advertised as "never read."
Among the other Enron items on the block and their recent bids:
* A ceramic "retirement planning" coffee mug for $102.50.
* A mouse pad with the inscription "Smooth Sailing" for $31.
* Stock certificates currently worth 38 cents in over-the-counter trading for $300.
* A set of three Titleist golf balls with the company's tri-color logo for $66.
* A copy of Enron's "The Basics of Risk Management" for $152.50.
"Over the years, we have seen people begin listing and then buying merchandise on EBay whenever a business or an event or a person becomes the center of media attention," said EBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove. "We're an immediate and direct reflection of popular culture and what's happening in the country."