Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Staff (01/31/13)
TITLE: The Closers
By Vince Martella
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He stared intently at the daunting task in front of him; a great expanse of blank spaces. The room was quiet and peaceful, but inside him a sea of turmoil was brewing. His large frame sighed as he scanned along endless rows of the giant matrix.
“Hey Mike, what’s wrong?”
He pointed at the board, a quizzical look on his face. ”I’ve got all these appointments to schedule and I can’t seem to get anyone to take care of them.“
Josh stepped back a moment and surveyed the organized confusion. “Here,” he pointed, “the Reynolds job. Simpson would be perfect for this one.”
“Yes, tried him already. He’s busy.”
“That’s a shame. He’s had specific training for that job. I’m not sure anyone else has the background. What about O’Brien there?” He pointed to a vacant square at the top right of the board.
“We tried to get Cornell to take that one.” Mike frowned as he looked at Josh. “He’s got scheduling conflicts.”
Josh winced and shook his head. “O’Brien’s got a lot of influence. This could turn out to be a huge account.” Josh looked pensive and pulled up a mental file. “We’ve done a lot of groundwork here the last few months. We need to close him now. Did you convey the severity of the situation?”
“Well, Cornell felt sure that someone else would take care of it. We’ve contacted a few others, but they’re all too busy. Frankly, O’Brien is a very delicate case; I’m not sure anyone but Cornell can handle it successfully.”
Josh nodded in acknowledgement. Looking up again he suddenly sprang to life. “What about Delaney? You could put her on Tomlinson. Have you contacted her?”
“No, not yet but…” Mike’s voice trailed off.
“She’d be perfect,” Josh said. “This is an easy case. The client is so ready. All she’s got to do is show up. Bam! 5 minutes. Done deal.” Josh smiled at Mike. He was very pleased with himself.
Mike didn’t share the same enthusiasm. “ Yeah…Uhm, Delaney’s life has become very complicated lately. She’s just become engaged, and she’s been training for that spring marathon. She’s not really interested in taking on new clients right now. But you can give her a try.”
Josh became frustrated looking at the long list of employee names beside the chart.
“Mike, this is unacceptable. This is a huge organization. With as many workers as we have, we should never lose a potential client. I think we should have a motivational sales meeting and threaten to fire every last one of them. That’ll motivate them!”
Mike smiled at his impetuous friend. “Now, Josh, you know we can’t do that. First of all, they have job security and they know it. No amount of threating will get the job done. And second, you know the boss won’t stand for that.”
Josh shot him a twisted frown as Mike continued.
“Listen, I’ll admit that some are just riding out their time. You’re going to have slackers in every organization. But for the most part, these are good, hardworking folks. They’re making incredible strides for the company.“
He paused, his deep blue eyes penetrating Josh with compassion.
“I just don’t think they realize how important recruitment is. This organization was built on the principal of giving everybody, regardless of their education, background, experience or race, a chance to excel; to grow and thrive. We’ve got everyone from Harvard graduates to ex-cons working for us, and they all have their place in the company. That’s one thing I can say for the boss, he definitely doesn’t discriminate.”
Josh was smiling now. “Yea, I have to admit, Mike, some of the most unqualified individuals have become our best producers.” I wouldn’t have hired them, but somehow, the boss has a real eye for talent.”
Mike and Josh turned again and stared.
“They don’t need another conference, Josh. They’ve got the company handbook; most of them have been training for years. It’s not a matter of information; it’s a matter of inspiration. The plain truth is that every employee is going to be exactly as busy as they want to be. We can only hope that those who realize the opportunity they’ve been given will help grow the organization out of gratefulness, not duty.
Somewhere off in the distance, Michael heard his name.
“Gotta go, Josh. I’ve got a meeting with the boss.” With that he unfurled his powerful wings and headed toward the throne.
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