Fiction Friday, “Invested,” Chapter 4

“And that’s no more lost work, no more waiting for files to be ready for you, no more stepping on each other’s toes and there’s even remote access if someone needs to approve something from home.”

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“And that’s no more lost work, no more waiting for files to be ready for you, no more stepping on each other’s toes and there’s even remote access if someone needs to approve something from home.”

“I could work from home?” Sean asked, hopefully.

“Well, you can do some things at home, but you’d be limited by your home internet service, so I wouldn’t recommend fully editing from home.”

“So, I could work from home, then,” Charlie chimed in. “I can approve their work, and I can kick my feet up at home and let my staff do everything.”

Sean laughed. “Yeah, right. You want to work from home so bad you can’t wait to spend a long night at your desk with noodles.”

“If I could eat noodles on my couch while working, that would be a step up,” Charlie said over-dramatically.

“I think the best news is that you’ll be able to get more done in a day and not have to eat noodles unless you really want noodles,” Kimberly joked. “I bet you could have finished everything you did today by lunchtime if your computers could keep up with you. But that’s for down the road, I understand.”

“But that sure sounds nice,” Charlie said. “You wouldn’t happen to have a free one sitting around, would ya? I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a new EVO today.”

“You’re kidding, but we have financing, so that works for us,” Phil answered.

“You’re kidding.”

“Nope. We have financing.”

“They have financing, Charlie,” Sean repeated.

Charlie stared at the table for a moment, then shook his head. “Sean, you keep this to yourself around the others, but cards on the table, I have to invest in my people before I upgrade like this. We get work in waves, and the way I have it figured I have payroll met for the next year. If I increase my bottom line every month, that’s fewer months of payroll I have ready to go. I can’t risk my people.”

“That’s the most beautiful thing I think I’ve ever heard someone say at a meeting like this,” Kimberly said.

“True. But it’s flawed, you know that,” Phil said. It wasn’t a question.

“How so?”

“First off, you aren’t going to go a whole year without income—that’s doing zero business, and that’s not going to happen. Second, you’re not taking into consideration how what you’re doing now is hurting your staff. I would say you’re not investing in your people.”

Charlie shook his head. “I put payroll above tech upgrades—that is prioritizing my people.”

“But you’re going to lose key staff if they’re too frustrated. You aren’t giving them the tools to do their job.”

Sean looked at the floor. “It’s true. I’ve heard a few people are looking.”

“With an EVO you’ll be able to do more work, which will also factor in financially.” Phil stopped. “But I’m not here for any kind of pressure-sales. That’s just my opinion, and you can use the financing to buy just the switch, if that’s what you need.”

Charlie was quiet again. “I hadn’t thought of it like that.”

“What?” Sean asked. “Hadn’t thought of what like what?”

“I hadn’t thought of working with what we have like I wasn’t investing in my people,” Charlie said. “We’ve always made do with what we had, and I was working right along with them. We’re a start up.”

“We were a start up. Then we got a reputation and now we’re trying to keep up with agencies much larger than us.” Sean smiled. “You aren’t working out of your garage anymore. You can do this.” He paused. “We haven’t had a quarter without clients, Charlie,” Sean said tentatively. “Maybe we can invest in us?”

Charlie smiled. “I’d like to talk financing for the system on page three.”

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