Photo by Arlington Research on Unsplash
Photo by Arlington Research on Unsplash
A short story about the fate of one company
It was 9 am as Jacs walked into her office to find her entire team missing. She was baffled. No one was at their own desk as usual. At first, she thought it was a holiday, but that couldn’t be since they had a meeting scheduled for 10am.
They’ve just experienced the worst 5 months in their business and if this pitch didn’t go through, not only they’d had to close their office, but worst yet, work in this office helped everyone pursue their personal goals. Jim was finally getting his degree in design and found a school that he could take night classes at. He was paying that with his salary. Jamaya and Singh had both rent and loans to pay. Jina, on the other hand, had two kids and as a single parent this job was her only source of income.
And Jacs, Jacs had not been paid in months. 7 months to be exact and she was at the very bottom of her savings. Another month without pay, she would have to give up her apartment, move back in with her parents, shut the business down, and somehow pay off the debt that she had accrued over the years.
So no, it wasn’t a holiday. Though, something more beautiful had happened.
Unbeknownst to her, Jamaya had gathered everyone around the conference room table and was showing everyone what she was up to for the weekend.
Up until that day, tasks and deliverables were managed in several apps, whiteboards, notebooks, emails.
Jamaya had found something completely new. You could say it was an app, but it was more than that — it was a way of working. Not something that would make you more organized, per se — they knew they’d never get there — but a new way of organizing that worked around everyone’s messines and idiosyncrasies.
That entire weekend, she had put every little note and task in this new app. She felt relieved, happy, accomplished, even beautiful — inside and out — for everything she had done.
“It was like therapy” — she said.
Lo and behold, she had invited everyone to come meet her at 7am sharp at the office, so she could go over everyone’s plate and see if she had organized it well, before Jacs would come in.
You see, Jamaya wanted to give Jacs a sense of hope for that 10am meeting. Yes they had prepared well and had what it took to deliver, but in the last 5 months things had gone so downhill despite all the honest efforts they had all put in.
This was a moment to hold on to, even if it was the last — before they’d go into that fate deciding meeting at 10am.
As Jacs was curiously lost in her way around the empty office, she heard laughs and positive chatter coming from the conference room. She followed the noise confusingly happy for what she may encounter.
Everyone was there and they all seemed very relaxed. They had finally come to a conclusion that they needed to work smarter. Everything was organized neatly in what could be the very last day they worked together.
Jamaya shared everything with Jacs. Jacs was happy. She knew things needed to be managed better. She was sorry it had come to this dreaded moment of which their fate would be decided upon. But, felt relieved, almost cathartic — that they had come full circle.
As they started to talk about Jamaya’s hard work, they got completely lost and for a moment forgot about the last 5 months of their company and the high possibility that their company was about to close.
They started making plans about how they will work with new clients moving forward. How they’ll lay out new onboarding procedures for new employees so Singh would spend less time explaining and more time working with new employees. How they’ll bother each other less with emails and keep everything in this new piece of software that Jamaya had found.
They even jokingly made plans about the company retreat they’ll have in a month. Something they hadn’t done in two long years.
As Jacs’ phone rang the notification chime about the meeting taking place in 15 minutes, they all paused and came back down to earth. Jacs was close to hear tears, but she had been here many times before — to the place where it was “do or die”, and many times die she did, but this time felt a bit different. She felt at peace. She was proud of everyone’s effort.
More than her debt and almost no savings at this point, she felt for Jim not being able to pay the rest of his school or Jina for not having another option to take care of her two daughters as a single parent.
She collected herself back to her stealth killer ways. She was ready for the meeting. She had the chops. Everything she had learned up to now had come together to this point in time. It was sort of meant to be, she wanted to think, pumping herself up. Even though she couldn’t know the outcome of the meeting and if her company will cease to exist in an hours time, she knew she wanted to help this one single client, even if they budged or showed signs of no interest. She knew she had the team. Her “why” was bigger and clearer than ever. She was there for everyone else and she knew she couldn’t let them down.
— “Hi guys, how are you today? All of us are here. Are you ready to hear what we’ve prepared for you and how we’ll help your company succeed in the sea of million dollar backed businesses?”
— “Hey Jacs! Yes, we’re all here and excited to hear what you have prepared for us!”
Little did Jacs know that their client had all their bets placed on Jacs and they were the ones who would be going out of business, if Jacs and her team wasn’t about to help them out.
For teams who want to work better
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