That's what my boss said to me and my co-sales people yesterday afternoon: "Yea, come on. Quick sales meeting. Impromptu." I looked at his hands. I said, "I don't see any pink slips, so I guess I'll be there." He smiled and turned on his heels.
We all shuffled around in our cubes for a minute, pushing our chairs in and out; looking for the lingering email. We contemplated aloud about bringing a pad and pencil. One guy said, "You always bring a pad and pen to a meeting, duh." Another guy said, "Whatever." I whispered to my girl Lindz, "Take paper so we can pass notes if we have to." All of this, the shuffling, the pushing, the asking, the procrastinating was fueled by a nervous energy. What'd we do, we were thinking. It's all coming to an end, isn't it, we worried. You pendejos have made one too many lame broker risks, haven't you? HAVEN'T YOU? I hadn't thought of any of this until the second he called for an impromptu sales meeting.
The conference room was a chill 65 degrees. We nervously complained about it the second we entered the room. We can't help ourselves. After we were settled into cush conference chairs that remind me of gorilla palms, the main boss started to blahblahblah about seizing business opportunities and yadiyadi this and yadiyadi that, and we patiently, dozily waded through the sales-speak waiting for the meat, waiting for the hammer. We fumbled with our pens and fingered the corners of our blank pads of paper. Some people scribbled on their pads, making no effort to hide a non-business related doodle. What'd we do, we thought.
Then, all of the sudden, he moseyed up to the meat. It turns out, we're kicking ass. We did our best month of the year in September. Our margins are fat, more crazy brokeriness is on the horizon. I realized then his voice was amped, which I hadn't noticed before. He was slapping flat fingers on the table, and pointing and fidgeting. He hadn't even brought his Blackberry to the meeting. He told us how scrappy and nose-to-the-grindstone we were. I flushed a little.
He told us that our company was safe. And this is when his monologue formed clarity and slowed down for me though he still spoke with earnest, rip-roaring excitement. He said financially we were strong, cash was good, credit was golden, references stellar. "It's scary in the world right now, but we are safe." I didn't know how important that was to hear until then. In that second, it became all important. I was pumped. I had heard two things you can't ever expect to hear because if you wait to hear them you slow down, you wallow, you're waiting on the wrong things. But when you do hear it, unexpectedly, when you hear that you're awesome and that you're safe, a surprising wind billows the sails. I felt an instant affection for my company and my boss and my coworkers, my own performance. This affection does come on suddenly and periodically for my job, my company, like a spike in hormones. This is certainly not the first time I've felt it.
My boss then went on to explain what he's got lined up in the far reaches of his business dream world. He's a straight creative hustler; he's an entrepreneurial eccentric. He's trying to pull business deals together that not in my wildest dreams would I think to do. The majority of this kind of stuff falls flat on its face, but he had already got me giddy so I was thinking, "Oh you so crazy. Go on with your bad self, you nutty broker you!" In my swirling appreciative fog, I believed he could achieve all outlandish shit.
We brokers play things cool. I have no clue if anyone else in the meeting was as gushy and pumped as I after the meeting. Usually we're mad cynical too, and though we look cool doing that -- cynically downplaying and snickering every deal but the one that actually sticks -- that cynicism is our excuse, our crutch. If the shit that we're flinging against the wall doesn't hold, we just KNEW our customer's higher ups wouldn't approve it, or that our vendors are greedy jerk offs screwing us out of our piece of the pie . . . That keeps us buoyant too, I have to admit. Keeps us dumping the last waste of energy and on to the next meaty deal. Keeps us rooting for truffles.
But today, I'm hopeful about my cubicle job, which I haven't been in a long while. I'm thankful, and I'm even willing to head up some of my boss’s substantial wild-hair projects. But he better land one of those quick before my whole mood goes broker-sideways. I got other shit on my plate too, doesn't he know?
5 hours ago