Today I’m sharing the second half of Chapter 2 of Launch, an unpublished book I wrote a few years ago. Two weeks ago, we met Cindy Clarke and got a look at her life. She’s in the middle of a launch from stay-at-home mother to the working world. Last week, we met her husband Ted and got to see how things look from his point of view. He has a big work crisis at Spring Technologies and it looks as though his top programmer, Anders, has skipped town before an important deadline.
I hope you will take a look to see what happens and if you want to start at the beginning, click on the links at the bottom of this post. We begin as Ted’s boss, Steve, catches Ted in the office before he has a chance to sneak out.
Launch – Chapter 2 – Part 2
“Hey Steve!” Ted smiled the broad smile that went with his greatest asset. No need to show the boss that your department is crumbling. “Just working hard, that’s all. What’s up?”
“Well I just wanted to check in with you and make sure your team is all set for Monday. How’s the demo going? We want to make sure it’s all up and running for our meeting.” Steven was an intense boss. The kind of boss he’d had for his entire career. Always asking how it was going, but never in a social way. Always wanting to know just how long it would be before the next project would be finished. It was part of the job, being accountable to your boss. Ted accepted that and he usually met those deadlines on time. It would be a small miracle if his team would be meeting Monday’s deadline.
“It’s all good, Steve. The team’s working out a few glitches but we should be ready to go for the meeting.” What a ridiculous lie! Ted looked straight into Steve’s eyes when he said this, hoping to work some magic with his boss, hoping Steve wouldn’t detect the nervous twitch pulsing out of control under Ted’s eye.
Steve’s eyes drew into Ted’s face, in that way he had in looking for the true story underneath the spin. His brows tightened in an intense focus. “Well, can I see what you’ve got so far? It would change the mood of my weekend if I could go home knowing what I’ll be showing Haskell and his group on Monday.”
Shit. Stay calm. Think about how to answer. “Let me talk to Wayne, see what he’s got for you to look at today.”
Steve’s focus didn’t let up. “Where’s Anders?”
“I sent him out on an errand, to pick up the new Ethernet cables for next week. He should be back late this afternoon.” Ted hoped this quick lie would buy him time, but he worried.
“Hmm, well okay. I’ll be here until 5:30, so send it up to me when you get it, okay Ted?” Steve detected a problem. He was certain something was up, but he wanted no part of it. He wanted the demo and the less he knew about the problem the better. It wasn’t up to him to solve the problems of the IT Department. He’d joyfully shed himself of those worries when he’d been promoted to VP. Let Ted sweat it out, whatever it was. But Ted better damn well have a demo up in his office at 5:30, he was sure he made himself clear.
Ted and the IT team had an emergency meeting. The department patched together a demo, but Ted knew it wasn’t what Steve wanted. But maybe it was enough to buy him some time over the weekend. They needed Anders. Part of their program was missing and he was the key. Ted couldn’t imagine why Anders had left, but he felt sure they were on their own.
“Here you go, Steve.” Ted handed him a flash drive. “It’s still a little rough, but it will give you an idea of what Haskell will see on Monday.” Ted had groaned at the thought of working all weekend, but he knew he’d have his entire team, minus Anders, in the office for as long as it took, piecing together the parts that were hanging.
“Well, okay, thanks Ted. I’ll look at it in a few minutes.” Ted looked at the clock, hoping he could get out of there before Steve saw just how rough the demo was. It wasn’t a tactic he liked, but he knew he was going to have to buy some time and he wasn’t going to get anywhere having to explain the situation to Steven Colby. He had a feeling Steve didn’t want to know anyway.
Ted took a breath. “Great!” He didn’t know why he was saying great. It was his instinct. A small celebration for producing something for his boss, something he’d done countless times. “I’ll have my team in here tomorrow, working out the kinks, Steve.”
“Okay, make sure you get Anders to run it a few times after everyone’s finished. I want him to check it out thoroughly. You know what they’re like over at Haskell. We need to be sure it’s seamless. They’re doing us a favor by coming here on Monday, so we’d better make sure everything works.”
“No problem, Steve. I understand. I’ll make sure it works.”
“I know where to find you if it doesn’t!” Ted knew that Steve was only partly joking. It was part of the corporate culture at Spring Technologies. Even if it was outdated and cliché, the threat still held strong.
Thank you for reading.
Click on the chapter links to start from the beginning:
Launch – Chapter 1
Launch – Chapter 2 Part 1
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