Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta business. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta business. Mostrar todas las entradas

lunes, 10 de julio de 2017

Inside the storm

   The weather outside the terminal was terrible. The storm had been brewing for quite a while and it had finally unleashed itself unto the city in the ground. It had been going on for about three hours and, according to experts, rain could continue to fall for a very long time. It was not possible to know how many hours or even days that would be as the system had become the storm of nightmares and something like that was not going to go away in a couple of seconds.

 The airport had been packed earlier but, as night came, people were sent back to their homes or hotels, in the hope they could resume their journey the following day. That was not going to be possible but the hope for something better is always present in most people. They do incredible things because of that hope and that means they can be capable of some beautiful things but also of horrendous acts. It’s just the way humanity works and it will keep working like that forever.

 A perfect example of that would be Patricia King. She found herself in the bathroom the moment her airline announced, via speakers, that all their flights had been grounded and cancelled as the storm was impossible to get through. You probably don’t know this, but Mrs. King was a very determined individual. Not only she had become the top executive in her law firm in record time, she was well known among her colleagues for nailing every single case that landed in her office.

 Patricia King was hated and loved and both feelings were felt especially strong inside of the law firm she worked so hard in. She was applauded when applause was required but that did not mean everyone liked her, least of all Robert Frost. Frost had been her nemesis from the first moment she had entered the office tower in downtown where the firm was located. He had been the star of that place for many years, had built the image of the firm himself and saw King as a threat to everything he had done for himself and others.

 This was fast overheard by the woman, as she had learned from a young age to be alert for any kind of dissidence in the group she was in. She had been like that in college and in high school. Her classmates respected her but always knew when and what to talk about when she was around. That explained why, despite being so well regarded, she didn’t really have any friends. She lived alone and had never been in a romantic relationship with any man or woman. She wasn’t interested in “wasting her time”, as she had once phrased it to her own mother.

 However, Mrs. King cannot and should not be portrayed as a monster, a “power hungry bitch”, if you will. As a woman working in a man’s world, Patricia knew that she had to work twice as hard to get somewhere in life. And that’s exactly what she did: she started working at a very young age, earning money and saving it for the future. Her parents were very surprised when, at the age of sixteen, she was able to pay for her own new car, not requiring their help for any of it.

 She paid her way through college exactly the same way, grabbing most of the money saved from many summer jobs in her youth in order to get herself the best private education money could buy. As she was so focused on her goals, she achieved them all very easily; at least that’s what it seemed from an observer’s point of view. After all, Patricia always had a winning smile on her face and there was never a moment when she didn’t seem to know her next move.

 However, this was all a deception. She was a human being, flawed and imperfect. She had not been born special in any way and had to build herself to be who she wanted to become in the future. That’s why, realizing this in her early years of adolescence, she decided to stay focused and never drive off the road she had perfectly designed for her life. She knew she wanted to be well known but for helping people and being a lawyer was the perfect way to do so. She was decided.

 As she washed her face in the airport bathroom, after hearing the announcement of the cancellation of the flights, Patricia realized that, for the first time ever, she had no idea what to do next. Her plan had been to get back to her city, where she would give two lecture in different locations on the same day and then, she would sign the papers to buy herself a brand new office, finally a real space only to herself where she could give life to her very own law firm.

 She had been thinking about it for a very long time and finally the moment was perfect: she was beloved by the people that needed to love her and there were the exact amount of favors owed to her that she needed to make her dreams come true, at least the most urgent dreams. It was all-perfect but for every single thing to work, she needed to be in the city the next day. The storm had formed out of nowhere because she was always checking weather conditions and many other factors that may cause disruptions in her business. She planned it all.

 But, as life goes, not everything can be predicted. The world is ever changing, always throwing curve balls at existence, to see if something would change, from time to time. Patricia went back to the check-in counters and complained but the staff was leaving because the airport had been closed. Every single flight had been grounded. In a second, she realized she could pay for a private pilot to take her to the required destination. So, in the middle of the storm and with her only small suitcase, she left the terminal.

 Luckily, the last shuttle bus was right where it should be and it took her in only five minutes to the general aviation terminal. She was hoping to fin everything operating as normal but, of course, the terminal there was closed too. Drenched, she walked around, trying to think of something. Patricia then spotted a security guard and tried to bribe him in order for him to let her walk into the tarmac, where she would hopefully find an available pilot. But the man had no use for money. Big mistake.

 This is where everything went bad. Or maybe it should be said that it went worse, because this was not the first time Patricia had done something like that. As said before, people do bad and good things depending on the moment and Mrs. King was the type of person that was always two plays into the game. She had bribed before, she had used her looks to get evidence for cases and had even had sexual relations with men and women in order to get what she wanted, whatever it was.

 Patricia King was not the jewel everyone thought she was. There was something, however, that people could feel when they were around her. And it was that rotten piece of her soul, corrupted by greed, that made everyone think twice about being a little bit too close to her. Instinct had made great things for her but it had also being something very good for the people around her, as it warned them that Patricia was to be respected because of the danger she represented to herself and others.

 So she grabbed the guard’s gun and shot him, point blank. Her hands were covered in water and so was the gun. The thunders covered the noise. She managed to get to the tarmac and, what do you know, there was a pilot available, originally waiting for a wealthy client.


 One hour later, Patricia landed in her city. She was a bit dizzy and nauseated but ready for the big day that was awaiting her. This may serve as a remainder that we are all capable of horrible things. The thing is, we do not all cave to our deepest, darkest passions.

miércoles, 22 de febrero de 2017

Everything is nothing

   As the blood dripped down to the floor, getting the thick white carpet wet and stained, the man just looked through the window, contemplating the lights of the city that had been his home for so many years. He hadn’t been born there but he felt as if he had. He had always felt like someone from the city and not the son of a farmer. Either way, it had all lead him to that moment in his life and he realized by looking at the city that he was all alone, as he was on the farm all those years ago.

 His name was Alan and his blood was very dark. He barely felt it sliding down is hand, his fingers, falling almost silently to the floor. The dagger he had used, an old antique he had bought on a trip to Vietnam, laid in the sofa. It was clean because his blood had not rushed out from him but had rather been very slow to come out, as if his body was trying to hold on to life as long as it could. But he had decided his own faith and there was nothing that could save him from it. There was no turning back.

 His apartment was very large, with five bedrooms, each with a bathroom. The kitchen had a lot of space to do all kinds of recipes and the cabinets added an almost never-ending amount of storage space. The living room was the part of the apartment where he stood, barefoot, looking at the twinkling lights of the city below. He had other antiques all around the house, including on his dinner table and the small lobby where he had greeted so many of his so-called friends and family.

 There was no family anymore. Helen had left months ago. She argued it was because of him, because he failed to touch her as much as she wanted too and hadn’t really been a sweet and caring husband during their short marriage. He had a different point of view to the matter: Alan knew his wife had been sleeping with someone, almost from the first day they had been married. He had pictures and even a couple of witnesses. But he wasn’t the kind of man to play all his cards at once.

 By the way, what she had said was the truth: Alan had never really loved Helen. The real thing was that Alan had never cared for anyone in his life. He had been born into a poor family with two sisters and three brothers. That house did not have any love either, just responsibilities. He had learned from a young age that what mattered was to work like a horse every day of your life to make some money and to be someone. To make people tremble when they heard your name, if possible. And Alan had dedicated his life to achieve exactly that.

 His eyes were beginning to go foggy and he stumbled bit, almost banging his head against the window’s glass. But he didn’t fell down; he remained where he was, his blood dripping still. He felt thirsty but he didn’t even try to go to the kitchen for something to drink. He just stood there, remembering how Helen had thought she had the moral high ground when they argued for the last time. She was an overly dramatic woman and he asked himself often why he had chosen her and not another.

 Well, that had a rather simple answer: she had been there when she was necessary. Helen was the daughter of a wealthy man, very well known in the business circuit. As Alan was climbing levels, he realized he had to have someone by his side to be supported by others. For some reason, people still mistrust someone that has chosen not to have a family or even not getting married. And Alan was one of those but he had to fake he was just like them. So he met Helen and eventually married her.

 The relationship lasted for less than three years. During that time, she slept with another man at least three of the seven nights of the week. Other three nights she spent at her family home, where her father and mother would shield her against her “horrible husband”. Only one night a week she spend it in her actual home, where she bitched and moaned at everything because that was the way she was, always trying to end something she had agree on building too, whether she remembered or not.

 Alan was not the kind of man to fall in love or have lovers. He had never hired a prostitute or even visited a strip club. He didn’t feel any of those urges that are the norm among men. And no, he didn’t felt it either for men or other living creatures. He didn’t really have any perversions of the mind or of the soul, at least not related to his romantic interests. That was because he had none. Love was not one of his priorities in life. It had never been like that and it would never be.

 It was probably the reason why, after living his farm at a young age and thanks to his own efforts getting a scholarship, he just left his family and never saw them again. They tried to contact him several times and he even checked on them she had checked on his wife, but every time he got information on them he realized he wanted them far from everything he had. His family was greedy and could be summed up as a group of awful people, stepping on each other to climb little bit further. They were awful and Alan did not want to have anything to do with them,

 With no family and no need or urge to love or even to fuck someone, Alan had always been alone. Because, of course, friends hadn’t been a priority either. No friends had meant that he finished high school and college much faster than anyone else. It had meant for him that no money was thrown into useless things like alcohol or drugs, instead he did the best investments possible and got much more money than he had always needed. Friends would have only been a distraction.

 He had always been alone and he had always been fine with been alone. Those long and luxurious trips he had gone to in order to get half of the things he had on his house, had been done by himself. He had no guides and no nagging wife telling him anything. He had enjoyed the purity of those places and he had even felt he belonged to something greater than him, something he had never reflected on in his life. Knowing the world changed some of his preconceptions on people and the world.

 His family was not religious so he had never learned what it meant to have faith. His wife was supposedly catholic but he had never seen her got to mass or say something in that regard. When he traveled, he discovered that spiritual side that had never really been in him. He started having many ideas about it and would spend long nights trying to decipher his own sense of religion and faith. For Alan, it was something fascinating to discover but he never really became a fanatic. He knew when to stop.

 It was during that study of faith, when he realized the kind of life he had lived. In general, nothing too bad could be said about it. His business movements had always been clean, he had tried to provide for a wife who hated him and had attempted to save various artifacts that he thought could be lost if he didn’t buy them and put them on display in his apartment. In his mind, he had done many good things and nothing that could be classified as “bad”. But he was very wrong.

 He had lived a sad, pathetic life, alienating everyone from it. Religion showed him that living with others improved a person’s well being, it improved their lives in ways he had never even thought possible. His life had been lost to material things, to what does not remain.


 Realizing he had done nothing with his life, that he had decided not to give any of what he had to an heir, Alan decided fast and firmly, as he had always done. He grabbed his precious dagger and cut his wrists the best way he could. And then waited, because there was nothing left to do.

miércoles, 11 de enero de 2017

Strong woman

   By then, she had become a professional. She knew every single trick to travel, no matter if it had to do with packing her suitcase or buying the best hygiene products for herself. She knew which airlines offered what, the amount of room she had on any plane and the time she had in every single flight to work, sleep and relax. You could say she was a little bit to rigid with her life but Christine would have answered that she was just very well prepared. And that’s why her bosses loved her.

 Not only she was very practical in her travelling life, she was also like that with work. She travelled around the country and to other parts of the world, helping companies with their problems with technology and innovation. Christine went everywhere to hold meetings and conferences to anyone interested about how a company could survive in the new digital era. She knew about every single new development and was very well versed in the finance world too.

 Some people saw her as a danger to their way of doing things, specifically those people that were just corrupt and had arranged the system to work for them instead of working for everyone. During her fifteen-year experience, she had been responsible for unmasking a very high number of corruption scandals on many different companies. No matter if they produced video games or handled supermarkets, there was always someone trying to make more than the rest.

 That possibly was why so many people hated her too. In her world, in her order of things, there was no such thing as personal interests. She couldn’t understand how someone could put themselves in front and leave everyone else behind. Granted, she was not the best to speak about group efforts as she never did them herself, but she knew the value of having a good team to make a company go to directions no one else had ever gone. She tried not only to make them all win money and be successful, but Christine also wanted them to have a heart.

 That made her enemies very angry and that’s why many companies that had once asked for her help, suddenly rejected her and even campaigned against her actively in order for her bosses to be tempted to fire her or something but that never happened. Not only because she was really good at her job, but also because they feared her. They knew that if she was so good, she must have had something on the company she worked. It was only natural that she did, to protect her own interests.

 But that was where they didn’t understand her. She didn’t have anything on anyone in the company. She had even checked on that. And it was because she believed a relationship based on trust was much better than one based in fear. So from her side, everything was just fine. From their side not so much, but she had decided long ago that she couldn’t be worried about things she had no real control over. There was no way she could convince them that she wasn’t going to turn on them one day.

 Real problems came the day her enemies, people that had robbed millions, sued her in court with allegations of her work being unethical and, also, for receiving money in order to help improve conditions in some companies and not in other. They said that she refused to help their companies because she was under orders not to let them have any part in the business. They were very specific in their statements and even presented evidence of every single thing they were claiming.

 Christine would have wanted to laugh and she did when she got home but certainly not in the courthouse, where everyone’s eyes were fixed on her. She tried not to make any telling expressions and only limited her words to denying what those men in suits were saying. She was very calm and one could even say she didn’t care much for having to loose time there when she could be doing something much more interesting. Her rivals even pointed that out but the judge seemed not to mind much.

The actual trial was set to begin two months later. She would have to keep working until then because she had many prior commitments. But her company had asked her to please hold any engagements until after the trial was done because they didn’t want any of their clients to feel they could lose not only money but also their prestige in the business world. Of course, she understood perfectly what they were asking of her. So the day before she went to trial, was the same day she finally stopped at home and realized how her life would change now.

 The trial was very well publicized because many people in the media had been bought by the owners of the companies that were suing her. So it was obvious what their position was. They wanted her to be turn to shreds by people too, which was very hypocritical as those same companies were the ones that robbed everyone of their savings and their hard won money.  She had some big lawyers on her side too but the ones in the other side were particularly vicious. So much so that, on the second day, they even dared to attack her personal life, which was preposterous.

 Her lawyer told her not to say anything about that and she didn’t but it was the first time she seemed out of control. She wasn’t happy, at all, that her enemy was so visibly desperate that they wanted to find a weak spot wherever they could see it. Their questions and allegations hovered around the fact that she was an unmarried adult woman that lived her life travelling around. They called her irresponsible and immoral, which was perfect for the always religious people in juries. There’s always a couple.

 The trial went on for weeks. Whenever she thought they had been discredited by her very well built case, they came again with claims of bribery and corruption. It was then when she really got tired and decided not only to do her own defense but also using their own tricks. She would go personal and to the facts they were attacking on her. She was very tired and she had never felt that way. Christine was a very strong person but know, for some reason, she was beginning to feel the weight of years of work.

 The first day, in which she defended herself, she attacked them head on with proof of their own corruption. She had the papers and the data, which she always kept on her records to bring them down. One by one, one by day, she destroyed their credibility in front of the judge. Of course, they came against her hard with more personal questions and other attacks but Christine was ready, she had prepared herself thoroughly for that occasion, so she had brought the big guns.

 Did they want to talk about hidden children, lovers, weird fetishes and many other things? Fine, she went there with proof. During her years as a woman in business she had also made a lot of good friends, friends with enough talents to actually uncover things about people that they would have never thought no one would ever know about. But those good friends, many of those owed a lot to Christine, came to help in her hour of need. They really did the best they could to help her win that damn case.


 The day she actually won, the papers suddenly went silent and she went back to work. She decided to work now for smaller companies in order to help them be bigger and better. Christine wanted no more juggernauts in the game. Instead, she wanted to help where she was really needed. And she knew that they would let her do that because now she was a big name. Now they knew who she was and what she could do: bring empires up or down to the ground. There was clearly no one better in the game and Christine knew it very, very well.

jueves, 6 de octubre de 2016

Rejection

   Jean grabbed her purse and the bag where she kept her laptop. She walked very fast but tried not to look angry, disappointed or anything else. She just wanted to leave that place as fast as she could. It was very uncomfortable to stay there after she had been so insulted. As she arrived to the elevator, the door closed as someone was going down just before her. She whispered a course word, frustrated that she had to wait like an idiot in order to leave a please she definitely didn’t wanted to stay in or return ever again. She felt too humiliated.

 Out of nowhere, one of the guys that had been there during her interview walked up to her. He told her that they had been looking for her. A tiny shimmer of light appeared in her heart only to be crushed moments later when she realized the man had come to find her because she had left her pen in the table. What was even more annoying, was that he started talking about the results of the interview and telling her, once again, about all the flaws she had as a writer and so on. She wanted the Earth to swallow her, as his voice was very loud and everyone around seemed to be listening.

 She had to close her eyes and just try to relax by breathing slowly, feeling the air through her body. Ignoring the man was not easy but she could at least think of something else as he talked and talked and talked. The lady that managed the reception on that floor looked at them with surprise and obvious disgust. When Jean opened her eyes, the lady looked at her straight in the eye and shook her head, then looking at the guy. Jean only smiled, thankful that at least one person realized in what an uncomfortable situation she was.

 Finally, the elevator opened up and she stepped in without even acknowledging the man. For a moment, it seemed as though he was going to follow her into the elevator but fortunately he didn’t. He was even able to say anything else to Jean as she pressed hard the button that made the elevator close faster. She then pressed the number for the ground floor and started breathing normally again. She felt seriously awful and couldn’t believe she had to go home now in a bus that would take at least forty-five minutes. She didn’t felt good at all.

 Luckily, the bus didn’t take long to pass and she was able to find a free seat next to the window. She really wasn’t feeling ok and even though she was going to fall asleep, her brain wouldn’t let her. Not only because it may not be the best idea to fall asleep on a bus, but also because she had their words in her head. She could hear them once and again, trashing every single part of the work that she had done for them. Saying that they destroyed her isn’t enough to describe what went on in that conference room. A few tears rolled down her face.

 She had to clean herself with her hand because she had no tissues or anything like that. But it was clear to her that she had no intention to be the crazy woman in the bus that cries “for no reason”. So she tried to clean her tears off and attempted to think about something else. For example, the fact that she had left her family cat by herself. It wasn’t something that she did for the first time but it was something to think about. The cat was obviously ok but she had to create a problem in her mind in order to be able to resist the urge to cry.

 The bus took less time to her stop than it usually did. She hadn’t realized but she had left that office so early that there wasn’t even the normal traffic jam of peak time out in the streets. When she came down of the bus, she checked she had everything with her, including the pen she had forgotten in her pocket. Walking home took only five minutes. Her house had a cute garden that was brimming with light and color as she entered. It was as if nature was trying to cheer her up.

 And it did make her smile at least. When she entered the house, she called for her parents. Fortunately, no one answered back. They were normally there but she didn’t care where and why they had left, she only wanted to go to her run and be able to fall asleep and nap for while, all afternoon was possible. She dropped her purse and laptop bag on the ground and took off her shoes before lying down in bed. She faced upwards, towards the ceiling and, again, she could her all the criticism and the things all those men had said.

 She began to cry again but, this time, Jean didn’t clean her face or attempted to appear tougher than she looked. She didn’t need to do that, as that was her bedroom, her place in the world. There, she could do whatever she wanted and in that moment she wanted feel miserable for her. The words those men had said had been like daggers and they had stabbed her with them once and again and again. It was almost as if they had enjoyed themselves by doing so. To her, it was a very sick thing to do but she only reflected on that many days later.

 It had been really unnecessary to tell her all those things. They didn’t have to sink every single fiber of her soul by saying a lot of things that, even if part of the truth, weren’t as important in real life as they might have portrayed them. They essentially told her she had no idea how to write, that she couldn’t put three words together and that she made no sense whatsoever in what she had written for them. It was an essay about internal practices in very big companies.

 Jean had no idea of that. She had not been to business school or anything like it. She was just a normal girl trying to make her way into the world. She had thought that her English level was good enough for them but apparently it wasn’t. And of course it wasn’t because they had told her that she didn’t need to correct her essay for them and she didn’t. They lied to her because she would always do corrections but they had assured her they weren’t necessary. Besides, she had no idea of any business practices. She had a degree in creative writing, for God’s sakes!

 They had also told her that her way of portraying the business world was not very professional. And when she attempted to explain that she had no experience in the actual business world, as she had told the woman she had applied for the job too, they wouldn’t let her speak. They would only raise her voice and just keep talking. The guy that gave back her pen had been particularly nasty when saying that she shouldn’t have told them that she was actually good in English. At that moment she felt so enraged, she stood up and decided to leave.

After all, three men in one small conference room were attacking her. And it was all because of one miserable test they had set up in order to chose the perfect person for the freelance job they were looking for. They weren’t even going to take her into the company; they only wanted to see if she was available to do some texts for them once in a while. And, later that week, Jean realized the pay for one piece of writing was extremely mediocre compared to what people with no big company attached to them could pay her.

 It wasn’t the fact that they hadn’t hired her but the fact that they had been deceitful in a way and that they had been so rude in explaining to her why she hadn’t been selected. After all, it made no sense that they had invited her to their offices only to insult her. It would have been better to receive an email with two phrases: one thanking her for applying and the other rejecting her application. It would be more direct and less surrounded with bullshit. She realized those guys only wanted to feel superior somehow and they had found their guinea pig in her.


 Jean fell asleep as she was thinking all of this. She woke up to the voice of her mom telling her it was dinnertime. When her parents asked how it had all went down, she told her everything that had happened and that she was planning to move along. It was hard for her to be her age, living with her parents and she did wanted to earn some money for herself but she wasn’t going to stop looking for a perfect fit to her talents. That company wasn’t the only one in the world and she was certain that, sooner or later, someone would be interested in what she could do.