Have you heard the news? Steve Jobs is back.
Well, we think it was Jobs. It might have been some other skinny middle-aged guy skulking about Apple's Cupertino campus wearing jeans and a black turtleneck. But Apple really truly deeply wants us to believe that, in yet another miracle, St. Steven is back on the ball, just a few weeks after upgrading his internal organs.
Last week's Wall Street Journal story about Jobs undergoing a liver transplant in April was followed immediately by a) a bland statement in a press release allegedly made by Jobs, and b) a few suspiciously convenient sightings of the Apple icon at the company's HQ.
[ Got amazing IT tales, real-life experiences, lessons learned the hard way, or war stories from the trenches? Submit it to InfoWorld's Off the Record blog. If we publish your story, we'll send you a $50 American Express gift card. ]
Hey, if Steve really does feel well enough to return to work just weeks after swapping out one of his more important organs, then more power to him. Let's hope he remains on top of the Apple pile for another 10 years. But I smell the fetid stench of yet another PR move designed to hide the real story about the man and his health. And that ain't right.
So far, the story has gone from "Steve's fine and it's none of your beeswax why he's so damned skinny," to "Steve's just taking a break to deal with this little hormone imbalance, nothing to see here," then "Liver transplant, what liver transplant?" and finally "Hey, Steve's back -- you may all now return to worshipping him as the Man-God he is."
[UPDATE: I've been hearing from some readers who seem to believe I wish Jobs ill. Nothing could be further from the truth. I hope he makes a full and lasting recovery. The world (and this gig) would be a far lesser place without him. I do think, however, that he's not done right by anyone by keeping his illness a secret. And I think the whole notion that Jobs must return by the end of June -- or, at least, appear to have returned -- is silly. I think he should take as long as he needs to get well. Is that more clear?]