01 Jul Chapter 9: (Work)
Several months had gone by and the springtime’s argument for being the best season of the year had coerced the climate for the evening.
Jay and Jane were inside a Jazz club, meeting with a new potential client for Jane’s company. They were seated at a circular table outlined with semi-circular booth seating.
Jane points to her right and says, “Jay, I’d like you to meet Pierre – he owns roughly two hundred restaurants around the country.”
Jay reaches over and shakes his hand, “Pierre, it is great to meet you.”
Pierre with a genuine tone says, “Ah, the pleasure is all mine. It is nice to finally meet you as well Jay. Jane has told me a lot about you – her and I have been working on this proposition for some time now.”
Jay smiles, looks at Jane and then says to Pierre, “Well, if you’re working with Jane, you’re in great hands. She’s very diligent.”
Pierre notions in agreement, “You’ll have to accept my apologies, I’m just waiting for my date – she should be here any minute now.”
Jane responds, “That’s no problem.”
Jay uses the downtime to look through some emails on his phone. After about ten minutes he hears Pierre say, “And here she is!”
Jay quickly looks up and sees a woman sit down on the couch next to Pierre and give him a kiss on the cheek. He begins to put his phone away when he does a double-look and realizes that it is Littea. His heart sinks, with a weird warmth, and looks over at Jane as if he knew what was going to happen next.
However, to his pleasant surprise – Jane did not recognize Littea. Jay was a bit taken aback by how elegant and eloquent she got for Pierre. Those thoughts quickly faded when he realized that now, this was going to be even more awkward.
Pierre grabs Littea’s hand and introduces her to the group, “Jay, Jane, I would like you to meet my wonderful friend… and as it so happens, my date for this evening – Littea.”
Littea looks like she feels no awkwardness and reaches over to shake Jane’s hand, “Jane, he said right? It is beautiful to meet you. What do you do?”
Jane fixes her posture a bit and adds some business savy to her tone, “It’s wonderful to meet you too, Littea. I own my own marketing firm… about thirteen employees now. I’m trying to work with Pierre to help him market his restaurants more efficiently, and yourself? What do you do?”
Littea responds with a tone that’s an octave louder than she typically does, “Oh. I’m Vice President of Sales at Software Incorporated… about 300 employees under me.”
Jane nods her head in an impressed fashion. Littea then turns her attention to Jay, “So – then that must mean your name is Jay. What do you do?”
Jay tries to add some baritone to his voice, “Well, I’m a writer… an aspiring author.”
Littea pretends to sound interested, “Oh really? I read a lot. Are you a published writer, would I have ever stumbled upon any of your work?”
Jay clears his throat, “No… well, I’m not published. So, I don’t think so. But, I am working on my first book though.”
Littea first forces a pretentious expression, “Ah. So you’re one of those types of guys.” She then looks at Jane with a forced pity face, “I feel really sorry for you… you must be a really strong woman Jane.”
Jay tries to cut some of the tension by saying, “Yeah, so, Jane is kind of the focus. She is really great at what she does.”
This time Littea gives a real pretentious expression, sits back, looks off to the side and says, “I’m great at what I do.”
The next day Littea was in one of her company’s conference rooms, conducting one of their weekly sales meetings – joined by the ten people on her team. She was dressed in professional attire; pencil skirt, hair up, blouse tucked in, heeled shoes, the usual.
She was pointing to a chart on the projected screen behind her, “I need you all to explain to me…” she gives a short pause while she looks around the room, “why sales of our three most popular services are down 40% this quarter… in markets that we have dominance in. Can someone explain that to me?”
There is a lot of fidgeting in the room, but no one says anything.
She points outside the room to the busy floor then continues, “Because, I could go talk to the sales people and figure out what happened myself… but, then what would you all be needed for? You’re supposed to be managers, leaders for your employees. You’re supposed to sell. And what you’re selling is some of the best services known to the market – so it’s not like the products are the issue.”
A man steps up from the chair and nervously says to her, “It’s just difficult times. Companies aren’t buying as much as they used to… a lot of CFO’s (Chief Financial Officers) just aren’t increasing budgets.”
Littea puts both hands on the desk in front of her and stares at the man, “Frank. I thank you for your time at this company, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave, remove everything from your office and check in with HR (Human Resources) on your way out. Thank you.”
There is a slight grasp in the room and everyone looks at Frank, “Are you serious?” he says.
Littea walks to the door of the conference room, opens it and says, “Yes.”
Frank grabs his belongings and scurries out of the room with his head down.
Littea walks back to the middle of the room and faces the conference desk again, “Now. Does anyone know why I just did that?”
They all shake their heads no.
Littea continues, “It is because he doesn’t even understand the core services, our core services, that sell best for us. And those are subscription-based packages. This is reliable money from our consumers to our company… every month. The question that needs answering, which clearly Frank did not comprehend, is why our rate of customers cancelling subscription is drastically higher than the rate of new customers subscribing.
You all know me to be a fair and reasonable person but a 40% drop is not pleasant. “
They all make an agreeing expression.
Littea closes off the meeting, “That’s all the time we’ve got for today. But, now that we understand the problem, lets go fix it! We need those charts to go the other way people – up!”
Everyone starts to grab their belongings and head out of the conference room.
Littea, grabs her tattooed earlobe, turns to her assistant and says, “Hey… can you look through my emails for some conversation I had with a guy named Botin? If you find it, can you send him an email asking if he has followed-up with my writer friend that I recommended to him? Thanks.”
Meanwhile, Jane was at her firm’s small studio. She too, was just in professional business attire, but with a southern twist.
She was also conducting a meeting with her employees, to announce Pierre’s company as a new client for them.
She’s seated at the front of the table and begins the meeting, “Well team, we finally did it – we closed it. We got Pierre’s company that owns and operates over 200 restaurants to sign us as their marketing team. This is definitely the most lucrative client we have ever had.”
Everyone cheers, whistles and passes around some bottles of beer and wine.
Jane remains calm and starts to earnestly say, “So… this actually faces a big challenge for us time wise; how do we handle this client in such a way that we exceed their expectations?”
Jane looks to the person to her right and says, “How many of the restaurants have the same name?”
The lady looks down at her notepad and responds, “Roughly 70%.”
Jane processes then says, “So, we can dedicate a smaller team to those 70%, as all of the marketing materials will be the same. Their focus will just be on the execution of the marketing strategy. For the other 30%, the rest of us will have to pick up the slack and handle five to ten of them.
In the meantime, I will look to hire a few interns to help with some of our current projects.”
With a temporal parallelism, Jay was at a recording studio with 2 witty, Mona and a few other people. 2 witty and a few others were mixing some music while Jay was in the kitchen-area of the studio making some coffee.
Mona walks in, dressed like she had a keen eye for style and says, “Hey, I’m Mona.”
Jay stirs his coffee and looks up, “Yeah I know you. We met a few months ago in front of a bistro… my name’s Jay.”
She thinks for a second, “Actually… I do remember meeting you now. I’m sorry, but you’re 2’s friend right?”
Jay stares down at the floor, only half-hearing what she said. After a few moments he looks at her and says, “You know… you’ve got something special in your voice. An anomaly of a tone, if you will, I can tell already.”
Mona replies with an uptick in cheerfulness, “What do you mean?”
Jay puts his coffee down and says to her, “The tone in someone’s voice… it’s the way his or her soul sounds.”
Before Mona gets a chance to reply, Jay hears his phone ringing and notices its Botin calling. He looks up at Mona and says, “I have to take this. I’ll be right back.”
Jay steps outside to take the call.
Botin: “Hey Jay, it’s Botin – how are you doing?”
Jay: “Ah, hey Botin. It’s nice to hear from you… I’m just at a friend of mines music recording session. And yourself?”
Botin: “I’m doing just great, so hey listen, I apologize for not getting back to you sooner – I’ve just been so busy lately. But, I did get a chance to read some of the sample stuff you gave me.”
Jay: “…and what did you think?”
Botin: “It’s not bad man; it’s really not bad. But, what else do you have?”
Jay: “Well, I’m currently working on a book.”
Botin: “Oh yeah? That’s interesting. Have you written any of it yet?”
Jay: “I’ve written some. It’s going well so far, I think.”
Botin: “Cool…cool, well can you send me what you have so far so I can take a look at it?”
Jay: “Absolutely. Can you text me your email address?”
Botin: “Sure. I’ll do it right after this call. What’s it going to be called anyways?”