It's Wednesday Morning, the last week of January 1977. A disgruntled group of employees faces another day at the factory they had worked in –some for over forty-five years. The company had been going through a difficult financial crisis. Sales were down, some sixty percent with no hopes of recovery.
Five of the nine member marketing department was laid-off one by one in the last six months. Mike a devoted worker for twenty years; John a marketing expert had fifteen years and Ralph--thirteen years. Mary, also a specialist in her field had been with the company twelve years and Sue, the former manager’s daughter, just five years. Three other sales representatives, who were recently employed over the last two years, were now strictly on commissions only.
The new manager brought in as a result of the merger, showed no sympathy. He criticized everyone’s performance. Consequently, the entire group felt grave unrest and morals were at an all time low.
Bob the sixy-two year old, day-time parking lot attendant, who had been with the company for over twenty-five years--began having elevated blood pressure, worrying about his pension and other benefits. He has been hospitalized for the past three weeks. Due to his absence and because of the location of the parking lot, five cars were broken into and items stolen.
Mr. Mc knight the maintenance supervisor, readily found alternative employment at the local hospital. His resignation re-ignited an old issue between the custodians and the machine operators. They contended that each operator should empty their waste into the larger container located at the rear of the plant. The grounds-keepers would then take it over the # 2 dumpster located near the parking lot across the street. The operators argued that trash removal was not their job.
A sense of hopelessness and loss blanketed each employee; contentions brewed at every level. No one had any inclination of, exactly what would become of their Jobs. Eighteen of the twenty-six factory workers were laid off. Out of the five office employees, only two remained.
But as the wary, discouraged, skeletal crew began work that morning; a state of confusion, anger and fear gripped their hearts. Rumor had it that something crucial was about to happen.
Martha the young lady, who is always singing as she cleans the offices said; she heard that Evelyn--the woman who types up the contract said, that she heard that Ralph and Harry were getting a large contract. Harry the longest serving salesman had been with the company thirty-five years. Ralph had now been laid-off for almost six months. Someone else said, that, Juan who works in the warehouse, said that he heard that George—the delivery guy said, “the company was about to shut down permanently.”
So, at around 9:30 this cold, yet clear Wednesday morning; all employees were asked to assemble in the lunch room. The new GM, who replaced Mr. Fritz just two days ago, had an important announcement...
Anxiously nervous as to the reason for the meeting; some stood--defiantly refusing to sit; others sat in disgust and despair with both hands propping their faces. As Mr. Henderson began speaking; George the delivery guy and Sonny a machine operator--also the union rep. slowly walked in, folding what looked like the classified section of a newspaper.
“Good Morning” he said in a casual, yet strong, confident tone.
“G o o d m…….g” The group half heartedly responded.
“My name is Charleston Henderson.” “I am …” After a brief introduction he hastened to announce. “Our company is not about to close its doors.” A sigh of relief flowed across the room, perking everyone’s attention. “Moreover,” he continued, “I want to say thanks to each of you for enduring the last three months of agonizing despondency. I do understand your frustration. But, this company is now under new management.” “Heavy Duty Company Inc. has in fact, just signed a million dollar contract with one of our previous customers, and sales are expected to exceed ten million dollars. Thanks to Mr. Harry Choraly--Our top sales professional. Well done Sir! You’ve saved us all.”
He continued for another fifteen minutes re-assuring everyone of their job security. As he concluded he said “I look forward to a long working relationship with each of you. So, let us continue in the tradition of excellence for total customer satisfaction.”
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