Fiction, Melbourne, Parenting, Writing

Charlie’s team

‘Taking a shortcut through life’s challenges will only lead to reality turning to gossamer.’

This was her mother’s favourite idiom. Each time Charlie came home with a less than satisfactory report card, her mother would chant that sentence. At 8, Charlie didn’t even know what it meant. Yet, it was embedded in her psyche. It her became her values system, her personal brand.

Now, looking around at her team, she notes those who’ve rolled their eyes, or whose shoulders slumped. Brad. John. Matt. No surprises there. Those who’ve wriggled higher in their chair are Sarah, Bess and Simon. Again, no shock.

‘It’s the same with work. There are no shortcuts here.’

Someone coughs.

‘And how do we ensure no one gets off easy? By naming our personal brand. Aligning it with the business, and keeping a check on each other.’

John and Matt visibly bristle. Charlie avoids their glowering eyes and draws breath.

‘So,’ Charlie says, clapping her hands excitedly. ‘Let’s get onto the personal branding exercise. I want you all to come back to me in twenty minutes with three paragraphs that state your own personal brand and how it aligns with our team’s values.’

John stands; his chair tips backwards. He scrunches his sheet of paper into a ball then storms out of the office, glaring at Charlie, ‘I’m sorry, this is bullshit. I quit.’

Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash


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