The Deal of a Lifetime?

Posted: July 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

Hello fan.Have you sort of enjoyed the first three chapters? If so let me know in the comments. If not let me know in the comments. What’s that you say? You don’t know what is going one well, then stop reading this post and go to this one. Read that post and the next one and the next then read this one. For those that have been following let me know. Tell me which people you like which ones you hate what do you want to know more about. I promise I will read all comments. I like to read. Please enjoy chapter 4 titled, “The Deal of a Lifetime?”

Chapter 4

“Jason, have a seat. You know Fred and I have seen you in the hallways and at some staff meetings. However, I don’t believe we have ever been introduced face to face. I am Al Lancomb, I am the COO of Smart Nation and I have been the acting CIO.” As soon as Jason took his seat and Al finished Rattling off his spiel, he had to stand again to meet Al’s open, out stretched hand with his and shake. Great Jason thought not only is this dude letting me go he is also going to make me stand then sit and stand again. At that moment Jason thought about those ground hog video games at the fun time pizza places his parents would take him to as a child. He would hover over the game table with the soft and hard mallet waiting to smack the groundhogs as they came up. Hoping that, he could beat the high score, posted a little above eye level over the table, in bold orange numbers. Then he could get the jackpot tickets and redeem them at the prize counter for a prize like, a whoopee cushion or hand buzzer.  Life was simple for 12 year old Jason, He didn’t have a mortgage, ca payments, student loans and soon spousal support to worry about. With all this hanging over his head, 37 year old Jason, felt like he was a cartoon character, with a grand piano suspended from a rope hanging over his head.   A comically tensile fraying rope, being sawed at by a funny and ominous looking red imp, Jason was sure that as soon as this “meeting” was over the rope would be cut and he would be this flat pancake like character who, would exit stage left. In the cartoon, funny music would play, the crowd would laugh and another short would feature Jason in some other hilarious misadventure no worse for the ware, however here in the real world Jason would be worse for the ware. Maybe he would move in with friends or family. His credit would be shot, he would call some head hunters maybe and see if he could start a new job, but it was late in his career and the IT field was becoming saturated.  Jason took a deep breath and a seat. He could not process all this right now. He forced the cartoons from his consciousness and did his best to focus on what was happening right now in this moment. That is all there really is anyways.  Jason took his breath and focused drawing inspiration from Thich Nhat Hanh “Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.” Jason was not a Buddhist, if he really gave it thought he would classify his religious affiliation as an Agonistic Baptist. Religion was one more point of contention between him and Melissa. She was raised Catholic he Baptist. They were married in a Catholic church, she went to Mass Jason did not. She would badger him often and he would go at Christmas and Easter but that was it.  “So, there have been a lot of changes since Smart Nation became a subsidiary of MidWest. Me sitting here is one of those changes.” Al sat down as he spoke and smiled as he spoke of himself as a change. The fact that Jason waited to sit until he sat was not lost on Al. He did a good job choosing the next CIO he was sure of it now. Al had a blank check after the insurance company was bought. The old man loved Al, because he got results. He was usually never questioned, when it came to his changes to bring a company to sustainability and profitability, He was not questioned here at Smart Nation, until he let the directors and management know that he was making Jason Franks the comp0anies CIO. The CIO position was not a really “big” one in most companies however for the last five years Smart Nation was moving to a business model, that really put IT and the legal department at the top of the food chain. Insurance was sold, claims processed and it was all done online now here at Smart Nation. This shift made the CIO position a coveted one and the decision to make Jason the CIO a contentious one. The only director who really supported his decision was Fred. This support and lack of support was not lost on Al. He joked about having a memory like an elephant but, he really did. He never forgot where he came from and who helped him get there. Just recently he was remembering who stood in his way. These people who stood in his way, usually stood in the way of progress and helped make companies this big lugubrious non profitable hell for employees. Al usually found ways to root out employees who did not embrace change.

Jason waited to sit down after standing. He waited till AL sat, Jason had never been in an executives office and really wasn’t sure what the proper etiquette was for this type of meeting. Al was talking about change. Change was something that happened it could be good or bad, Jason was positive this change was going to be bad for him. IT was supposedly important to Smart Nation, for the last five years but, Jason may not equal IT. Jason wondered if they found a younger IT guy that new more and would work for less. Last year Jason was able to squeeze 80 grand from Smart Nation. He knew it was too much money. He reminded himself to breath again, listen, be in the moment and let what happens happen.

“Change is a good thing. All the changes made here have been in an effort to create a sustainable way to generate profit.” Jason nodded his head as Al spoke, Al realized Jason had no idea why he was here. Could Jason be assuming that the change Al was leading up to was going to be his dismissal? “Let me be clear right up front, you’re not being fired here.” Al could have sworn he heard a sigh from Jason but he wasn’t absolutely certain he did.  Al moved his computer monitor into a position, so that all three men in the room could see it. He hit a button and his screen filled with the email that Jason sent to his colleagues earlier on in the year. “I was impressed with your work here. The way you took apart this software, worked together with network, security and development teams, came up with a strategy and implemented. This is great work. This email here made me do some digging into your work and work ethic. You have the ability to do the work and see the big picture. This is exactly what I have been looking for in the new CIO of Smart nation.” Al nodded at Fred. Fred handed Jason the tablet with the compensation package, that outlined the position he was offering Jason.

Jason wasn’t getting fired, that is exactly what Al said. The anxiety inside him was replaced with confusion. If he wasn’t fired why was he in this office with HR? Was someone else getting fired? Were they doing some kind of investigation? God, he hoped not, he didn’t want to be part of the reason his colleagues were fired. No, that wasn’t it either. Jasons confusion was replaced with a little bit of anger when he saw the email on the computer screen. He knew that he signed an agreement which did nto guarantee privacy on the company’s network or devices but, they had copies of all emails? Holy cow! Talk about big brother. He was so upset he almost missed the offer of CIO. He heard Al say he was in need of a CIO or something then he looked at the tablet  Fred was handing him. They were offering him a job!  He looked over the paperwork his eyes stopped at salary. He would get 147,000 dollars a year, a bonus of 12,000 and with profits sharing and estimated 4,000. In one year he would most likely earn 165 000 a year. There were other perks too. The anxiety, anger, confusion were all swirling it was surreal. There was no way this was happening he almost felt dizzy. “Wow I had no idea that this meeting was about this.” Jason looked first at Fred, who was doing his best to hide a Cheshire cat style smile then at the dead pan stare of Al. “This is a serious offer?” Al fielded the question un-phased. “Serious as a heart attack! I would of course transition you into the position. That may take anywhere between 3 months to a year depending on how much of a shine you take to the role. But.. this is a real offer. I need someone here to lead and manage this department. I cannot be COO and CIO. You can do this. I know that. The question is, do you want to?” Jason wondered if Al expected an answer today. He didn’t know so he asked the question. “When do you want my answer?” Al loved it! He was direct to the point. He really hoped this guy would take the job. “I will need your answer before noon on Friday. Go home and discuss it with the family if you need to.” Jason smiled a little that was one good thing about a broken marriage and no kids; there would be no need to discuss anything with anyone. He was already 90 percent sure he was taking this job but He needed to look over the package.   “Ok” Jason looked at Al then back down at the tablet. “Alright, I have a feeling you will make the right call, which by the way is saying yes.” All stood stuck his hand out to shake Jasons. As they shook hands Al shoot Jason a knowing wink and Jason answered back “See you again Friday, at noon.”

Jason shook Freds hand and left. Fred stared at Al and said “He didn’t say yes…” “He will say yes. He just needs to think this through. I like it. He is a thinker. This is going to be interesting.” Fred shook his head as he spoke “If you say so. I think it is more confusing than interesting, myself. When I was offered director level I jumped on it.” “Yeah this is going to work out just right” As he finished his statement Al leaned back in his chair and started vaping. Fred thought about letting him know vaping like smoking was permitted on campus but thought twice and kept his mouth shut.


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