The newthing stood up. Newthing was very different from anything they had seen before. She got straight to the point, “I have been hired by company to bring in dollars, straighten things out and improve everything as things have not been good here.”
Granddaddy was clearly impressed by this opening. “Yes, things have not been good. We have had no wine with lunch in years”. The new-thing quickly gathered herself. “Thank you sir for your support and input!” (She hoped calling granddaddy sir and patronizing him will settle him down). Grandaddy “talking about support get me one of those chairs that can be controlled with all kind of knobs & buttons.” He has had an adjustable chair for years but had not figured out any controls yet.
Newthing “If there is anything I want you to take from this meeting is professionalism, professionalism and professionalism. Remember we are only as good as we look.”
Diva immediately felt kinship. “This is the same message I have been trying to convey for a long time. But nobody will listen to me. They keep on buying Chinese made crap that is completely classless. Will a client be impressed if you go in wearing a pair of Gap pants, Ann Taylor top and some nameless pair of shoes with no accessories? Or you go in wearing Prada, smelling Pierre Cardin and accessorizing with Nicole Miller! Off course hair has to be done right. (She looked right at old secretary as diva felt everything about old secretary might be the reason keeping clients away).”
The newthing sarcastically, “Thank you for your thoughtful input!” The subtle nuances of communication were always lost on Diva. Diva was already on a roll. ‘I generally keep my Thursdays half day off for manicure and shopping so my presentation can be good. May be we can go and do some shopping together.”
Granddaddy immediately jumped in, “That’s my day off to play golf with my buddies John the Cadillac dealer and Jimmy the divorce lawyer. I always need these guys”.
The foreigner has long realized that when Americans are in this mode of “let’s start with a clean slate” or “fresh start” or “think outside box” or “let’s hit the floor running” it always meant that one bad idea is about to be superseded by another one. He was always paranoid about these changes. He has seen numerous Hollywood movies/TV series and the foreigner always dies first. He immediately went into survivor mode. “Yes, we can.”
The meeting has taken a turn for worse, newthing felt. She knew exactly what to do. The book, “How to be an effective leader in 24 hours” had a whole chapter about regaining control of a situation quickly. This generally involved a self-deprecating joke and building up self-esteem of losers (staff). “What would I know? I am talking as if I know what I am talking about.” In her reading, the audience are supposed to laugh and say things like “oh no”. But she had not counted on this crowd.
Granddaddy, “I know. You are just a little kitty and not ready to play with big boys yet”. The foreigners realized he has to say something or he will be considered to have low motivation. “I love kitties. I used to tie them to kite and fly them.” Grandaddy “my pit bull will eat your kitties in seconds. What kind of man likes kitties”?
Diva threw her hands in air, “I am so disgusted by this objectification of women. I keep on being called hot, super-hot, lava-hot, delicious, vibrant, classy and charming. And it’s ok but can’t someone come up with some new ones.”
The newthing realized meeting had been effectively lost. Besides granddaddy had fallen asleep and his snoring was not conducive to any further discussion. The old secretary had immediately placed a CPAP mask on him. But she wanted to end meeting at least on a positive note. “We achieved quite a bit. We all know we have a long road ahead. We just need to start with a clean slate, get a fresh start, let’s all think outside box and hit the ground running.” Foreigner held his head in both hands. There was no hope from this point forward.